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A CFD study for evaluating the effects of natural ventilation on indoor comfort conditions

1 Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n 46022 Valencia, Spain
2 Department of Physics, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n 46022 Valencia, Spain

There is an increasing interest in improving energy efficiency in buildings due to the increased awareness about environmental impact and energy cost. Natural ventilation is an environmentally friendly technique which has become more attractive way for reducing energy use while it also provides acceptable comfort conditions. The research shows a case study building in which the natural ventilation effect due to wind-driven forces on indoor comfort conditions is evaluated. Moreover, the architectural solutions selected during the building design phase to improve the natural ventilation behaviour are successfully validated in a full-scale building. The indoor comfort conditions are evaluated through contrasted performance indicators: draught risk (DR), predicted percentage of dissatisfied people (PPD) and predicted mean vote (PMV) indexes. The results show that air movement due to natural ventilation allows increasing indoor air temperature maintaining the initial comfort conditions. Therefore, the mechanical air conditioning use can be postponed until the indoor air temperature is high and would, consequently, reduce the total building energy consumption. Thereby, a proper natural ventilation focus during the initial design stage could improve the building energy efficiency without compromising the indoor comfort conditions.
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