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Natural and forced ventilation


h i
ffor natural
t l ventilation
til ti
Effect of wind and buoyancy. Neutral pressure level.
Methodology in RCCTE.
Mechanical ventilation and mixed conditions
Flow required by RSECE
Dimensioning of ducts and pressure drops
Tests and leak restrictions.
Calculation methods: equi-velocity, equi-friction,
pressure recover

Ventilation is the provision of fresh air intake to the
occupied space using passive or active methods.
Minimum quantities of fresh air are required to keep air
quality but this has also direct impact on heat load.
The air can also be used to supply or remove heat as
well as moisture from the climatised space.
The ventilation can be promoted by passive means
(Natural) or by active systems (Forced or Mechanical).
Infiltration is the air inlet through cracks in the building
that is non intentional or accidental. It can be

minimized by sealing or pressurizing the building.

Natural Ventilation
For houses it is commonly used and is promoted by
including extracting ducts in toilets and kitchens, using
buoyancy or fans (acted by wind turbines)
Air admission can be made through controlable inlets
but air infiltration through doors/windows in rooms
may represent an important contribution.
The air quality is controlled by the preferential air path.
Air renewal in rooms are about 1 Rph and in toilets and
kitchens (with smaller volume) may exceed 4.
(Important e.g. for natural draft exhaust water heaters)
The ocasional use of exhaust fans controlled by the
residents are not considered mechanical ventilation.

Natural Ventilation Mechanisms

Air is moved due to pressure
differences due to:
Buoyancy effects: The heated air inside
the building has a smaller density and a
circulation pattern is promoted.

Wind impact: The air impinging the

building has larger pressure upstream
and lower downstream.
downstream The pressure
distribution is complex due to the flow.

None of the effects exist alone and

there is an important interaction that
can be analysed from pressure.
Figures from

Pressure distribution around

Pressure distribution can be aproximatelly analysed
by Bernoulli equation: P V 2 gz Constant
Buoyancy is due to the differences in density and
height while wind effects are due to velocity change.
Pressure distribution is the result of both mechanisms:

Figures from Jos

Luis Alexandre,

The location of equilibrium pressure is moved upwards

in the upwind side and lowered in the downwind side.

Effect of Buoyancy
The pressure variation depends on the temperature
difference and the associated density variation.

P gz

0 ghh 0 .04 h T

For o =1.2 kg/m3

and T=20C=293 K

To obtain a result with explicit dependence on pressure and


P atm gh 0 .0342 Patm h


A neutral plane is defined from

the stack effect and its location
depends on the opening areas at
the different levels of the building
due to the promoted flow.
Figure from ASHRAE 2009 F16

Effects on buoyancy
The division of the building in floors promotes the
circulation in each and a common connection (e.g.
s) promote
p o ote a
an e
t a vertical
e t ca ccirculation.
cu at o

ASHRAE2009 F16

The use of heating devices may

change the flow patterns.
In fire-places an external air
supply avoids infiltration.

Effect of wind


P Pref

V 2 2

The pressure variations with velocity can be estimated from

Bernoulli equation and expressed by a pressure coefficient Cp
that for simple geometries range from ~0
75 on the windward
side and ~ -0.4 on leeward, but local values e.g. in parapets
may reach ~-5.
Buildings are in general in wind
boundary layer that depend on
ground occupation.
Local velocities on the buildings
depend on orography and
neighbouring constructions.
Studies on wind effects are done
in wind tunnels (e.g. LNEC) or by
CFD numerical simulations.

Flow around a tall building

Figure from
2005 F16

Natural ventilation/climatization
The air circulation in buildings with previous heat
treatment can be done using underground air supply

Solar XXI
INETI (2005)

Infiltration rate and models

The flow rate through cracks or clearances can be
described by pressure loss that is in general:

Viscous + Inertial
P AV B V 2 2
Empirical correlations are derived for the volumetric flow
in the form of:
V C P n 0.5<n<1 typical n=0.65
The pressure difference is the sum of the contributions
from buoyancy and wind effects.
The ASHRAE basic model calculates the flow rate from
the temperature difference and the velocity (see next)
Other models are available based on similar approach
for single zone or for multi-zones where the air flow rate
between compartments is calculated based on a flow
network approach. (Available in simulation models)

ASHRAE Basic model

V A 1000 C s T C wVr2

Flow in m3/s

A Area of cracks (cm2) Determined from sum or from specific tests.

T Average
Vr Average wind speed from weather station (m/s)
Cs and Cw stack and wind coefficients in (L/s)2/cm4/(C or (m/s)2)
The model is presented in other
sources (e.g. Ventilation in buildings)
with more convenient units (m3/h)

British Standards method

Formulas are available for typical situations accounting for the
effects of temperature difference or wind only or comibined.

Tables and figures from Ventilation of Buildings (2003), H.B. Awbi

Flow rates/crack area

Earlier information for direct calculations were for flow
rates for typical situations (e.g. Carrier handbook).
More recent information is set in terms of area
adjusted by pressure loss coefficients. V AC P n
Example from ASHRAE2009
F16 for commercial buildings

Table from Jos Luis Alexandre, FEUP

Methods to assess infiltration

The assessment of leakage area can only be done after
construction and can be measured by:
i i th
the b
ildi and
d measuring
i th
the flflow rate
The effect of wind and buoyancy may lead to inlet in some
areas of the building, leading to correction factors.
The cracks may behave differently for intake and exhaust.
The tests require large fans in a specific blower door.

of a tracer g
gas and concentration measurement
A given amount of tracer gas is injected in the building.
The rate of decay of its concentration allows the determination
of the air renewables per hour (Rph)
R t
C s Cs , Initial e ph
For large spaces the concentration
may be non-uniform.

Method in RCCTE
The window frames are classified according to EN
12207 in four classes 1(worst) based on the leakage for
a given pressure difference in infiltration test.
The presence of a connection from outside through the
roller box of blinds is considered (Yes/No).

No air

Yes. There is
air exchange

Are there auto-regulator admissions in the faade.

A value of 0,6 Rph is considered if the building complies
with NP 1037-1.

Auto regulated admission devices

Devices that allow air
exchange but avoid
excessive flows when
there is much wind.



Figures from JLA - FEUP

Should not be open/closed by the user.

Should provide a uniform flow for P from 20 to 200 Pa.

Figures from P. F. Botelho, ISQ

Exposition Classes

The wind exposition class is specified for three rugosity:

I. Within urban area;
II. Perimetry of urban area
urban) or rural area
III. Very exposed area e.g in
plains or water plans.

Height of faade from ground

hmdia < 10 m ;
10 m < hmdia < 18 m ;
EN 1307
1 has more precise definitions
18 m < hmdia < 28 m ;
28 m < hmdia < 60 m. (Last value indicated in EN1307-1)

Two regions: A (All except B) and B:

Azores and Madeira and locations less than 5 km from
coast and locals above 600 m in mainland.

Exposition classes defined

The standard NP1037-1 has also requirements for windows and doors
class as a function of height and rugosity to limit the infiltrations, while in
RCCTE these can be of different class to evaluate the infiltration.

Values of air renewals for houses

Never forget the main text and the notes

Uma porta bem vedada tem caudal inferior a 12 m3/h/m2 quando existe P=100 Pa (NP1037-1).


Standard NP1037-1
The hourly air renewal rate is considered 0,6 Rph if the
natural ventilation system complies with NP 1037-1.
The use of local exhaust systems (e.g. in kitchen hotte)
is not allowed once it disturbs natural circulation. This
condition is in the standard due to gas heaters for water!
The standard defines a typical flow rate to size the natural
ventilation system correspondent to 1 Rph for rooms and 4
Rph for toilets and kitchens based on minimum flows:

Typical flows to remove from

services (kitchen, toilets, laudry)


Ventilation requirements (EN1307-1)

Air admission devices should be installed in
faade or through ducts in all sleeping rooms
and living room with specific requirements,
according to the wind exposition.

Independent exhaust for

g heaters and stoves

Absence of
traction fans in
toilets and kitchen

Door with
clearance or
so P< 3Pa

Sealed doors Flow <

12 m3/h/m2 @ 100 Pa

Other information in the standard

The standard NP1307-1 includes criterias to size the
ducts for air admission and exhaust including the
requirements for combustion products exhaust from
kitchen or from fire places (In this case Rph>4).
The house may be divided in different ventilation
zones with a sealed door between them.
The position of the exhaust ducts on roof is defined.
The dimension and thermal insulation of ducts for
flue gas from combustion equipment is defined to
guarantee an appropriate flow from buoyancy.
The classification of the water heaters is defined.


Mechanical Ventilation System

The houses and small services in RCCTE may have
mechanical ventilation systems. For houses the
standard NP1037
2 presents requirements for
centralized mechanical ventilation systems.
Ventilao e evacuao dos produtos da combusto
dos locais com aparelhos a gs. (Habitao VMC)
5 l/s ocupante
1 Rph

6 l/s ocupante

4 Rph

0,5 Rph

2 Rph

Para todos os espaos aps desocupados recomenda-se 0,2 Rph durante 24h.

Mechanical/natural ventilation
When mechanical ventilation systems are installed
they impose a given value of flow rate Vf but there
may also exist natural ventilation flow Vx.
The mechanical ventilation system may have both
inlet and exhaust or only one of them.
Using both forced flows enables heat recover
The single use of inlet promotes higher pressure inside
the building while only exhaust leads to lower pressure.

If the absolute difference between inlet and exhaust is

large, there will be only infiltration or exhaust through
the building envelop.
If the system is close to balance, the infiltration has a
contribution to the rate of air renewal.


Combined ventilation in RCCTE

Depending on exposure class a minimum air renewal
rate is defined for a balanced system.

Natural V
Ventilation Vx/V [h-1]

When the absolute

difference between
insuflation and
extraction increases
the contribution from
natural ventilation
decreases and is
neglected when
lower than 0.1 Rph

Exposition classes


Exp 1
Exp 2
Exp 3 & 4





Difference Between Forced Flow (Vins-Vext)/V [h-1]



R ph


Vx -1