MIT

Summary & Conclusions
   
   View the Summer 2000 Europe Travel Log or Summer 2000 Europe Trip Report or read this page and the following page for a brief summary.    
 

   While traveling for the first two weeks of August through Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, we were given the opportunity to visit many different building. Each of these buildings giving us a different perspective on how people design and use their buildings. With each visit, we tried to speak with users, managers, or designers to better understand the buildings.
   Through the discussions we were able to obtain the following simple philosophies on what to understand when designing naturally ventilated buildings:

  • Sun protection is a ‘must’;
  • External environment needs to be designed for better conditions;
  • Public spaces should be just slightly more comfortable than outside;
  • Work spaces should have more comfort than the public spaces;
  • Users have increased productivity with increased comfort;
  • Users feel more comfort psychologically from having control over their environment;
  • Users are willing to ‘tolerate infrequent discomfort' when they know how much they have to tolerate;
  • Users will control better with knowledge of expensive energy usage;
  • Users can have too much control, allowing for human error;
  • Low wind - use stack ventilation, high wind - use cross ventilation;
  • Increase cross ventilation with doors automatically open;
  • Use thermal mass to moderate space temperature changes.
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       Additionally we were able to obtain the following other philosophies on additional ways to increase the environmental standards of the building:

  • ‘Each workspace shall have daylight’;
  • While conditioning, ‘cold head and warm feet’;
  • Understand how people survive in older buildings without AC or high speed fans;
  • Understand third world country buildings that do not have AC or high speed fans;
  • Create a ‘commercially sound building’;
  • Users that complain about noise pollution typically work non-peak work hours;
  • Groundwater can be pumped through the ceiling/floor slabs to chill the space.
       In our visits to the different buildings it was interesting to see where these philosophies are used and where they are not. If you would like to read more about a specific building, please search by building location, type, age, or by natural ventilation detail on the left navigation bar.

       Please continue to read a brief summary of a few of the buildings on the next page.

  •                       Brian N. Dean bnd@mit.edu