Natural Ventilation Energy Savings Through Wind Engineering

Ryan Parker, CPP Wind Engineering

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As laboratory buildings strive to be more energy-efficient, additional ventilation savings may be available through natural ventilation of the non-lab spaces. Using project-specific modeling and analysis assessing the local climate, the full potential of natural ventilation, including both thermally driven and wind-driven ventilation, can be realized. An assessment can evaluate the full range of wind induced pressures on the ventilation openings, as well as the induced flow within the spaces. With careful consideration of external openings and internal flow paths, natural ventilation can be effective for more of the year than would otherwise be possible.

This presentation will cover a case study of a computational wind engineering assessment of the external and internal air flows for a vehicle maintenance and office facility. The effects of modifying the internal flow paths and directionality of external openings to take advantage of the natural wind climate will be demonstrated. The computational model used to determine the external pressures can also be utilized to assess the potential for wind-induced door opening or closing issues, as well as determine the likely pedestrian wind comfort environment around the project site. This additional insight can avoid or mitigate potential problems in the design stage. Examples of these types of add-on assessment will be briefly discussed.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the components of a natural ventilation wind engineering assessment;
  • Assess potential design changes to optimize natural ventilation;
  • Explain the benefits of addressing the internal and external air flow of the building; and
  • Understand additional benefits that are possible from the wind engineering assessment.


Dr. Ryan Parker has worked in the field of wind engineering since 2012. He focuses on developing advanced techniques for laboratory exhaust dispersion and energy optimization. Since joining CPP, Ryan has performed studies for wind responsive lab exhaust implementation, data center thermal analyses, numerical plume dispersion, pedestrian wind studies, and door operability. He continues to develop state-of-the-art tools and analysis techniques for laboratory energy optimization and other areas.


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