It’s a fact. Natural lighting and ventilation have advantages for almost any buildings … certainly in situations involving larger industrial and commercial buildings such as warehouses … and even in some applications for manufacturing buildings.
There have been many studies done recently that illustrate that human beings function more efficiently and are happier and healthier if they are exposed to natural light and ventilation – and that is true regardless of the type of building or other environment. One such study, authored by Carnegie Mellon University, can be found at http://cbpd.arc.cmu.edu/ebids.
Obviously, natural systems save energy. However, it is not only a matter of economy. In addition to the health advantages, natural systems avoid the noise and vibration associated with power ventilation. Some would say that “improved productivity” is the greatest advantage of all.
Many years ago, all buildings were all designed with large amounts of natural lighting and ventilation.payday loans It can be argued that this was the only option open to the designers at that time, but the fact remains that they made it work, and very economically at that.
One reason that designers got away from natural ventilation is that our building codes require that a building must be designed such that a specific number of cubic feet of air per minute can be exhausted. For an architect, engineer, or other designer, it is very easy to look at a chart published by a roof ventilation fan manufacturer and to simply choose a fan that matches the required number of cfm. If he/she does that, the code requirement has been met.payday loans However, good design has not been achieved.
- Expensive to buy.
- Expensive to install (requires a crane).
- Requires additional building structure.
- Noisy (to people both inside & outside the building).
- Vibrates … especially once blades take on dirt (weights).
- Requires constant maintenance (cleaning blades, belts, removing debris, etc.).
- Bad news during a power outage.
- Roof penetrations are vulnerable for leakage.
- May require additional power supply to the building.
- Creates a negative pressure in the building … which makes it difficult to keep the building watertight.
- Ventilation tends to be spotty. Being directly under a fan is different from being between fans.
- Oh, yes, also … ugly.
So, it turns out that after all these years, the natural way is still the best way –
and yes, it is the green thing to do, as well.
We must admit that there are situations (perhaps on the hottest days of the year) when natural ventilation may not be good enough. In those conditions, we recommend that the natural ventilation system be ‘boosted’ via low-speed, low-noise fans which force air into the buildings near ground level. This eliminates most of the problems listed above. See the attached “Green & Smart” flyer, which we published some 15 years ago. It was green & smart then and it still is.
You have to know that we are believers in the “Power of Natural Light & Ventilation”. The attached flyer includes a daytime photo of our own building with no artificial lights turned on. Free lighting – and better lighting.