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Natural Ventilation Review and Plan for Design and Analysis Tools



Steven J. Emmerich, William S. Dols, James W. Axley


Natural ventilation has the potential to reduce first costs and operating costs for some commercial buildings while maintaining ventilation rates consistent with acceptable indoor air quality. While a recent surge of interest in Europe has advanced natural ventilation technology, much work is needed before this potential can be realized in the U.S. This report reviews the application of natural ventilation in commercial buildings, the technology, its potential advantages and related issues that need to be addressed. One area identified as a key to the realization of the potential advantages of natural ventilation is the emergence of hybrid natural and mechanical system strategies. The report also addresses opportunities and issues specific to the application of natural ventilation to commercial buildings in California including analysis of climate suitability via a new ventilative cooling metric, consideration of ambient air quality, and discussion of relevant codes and standards. Finally, current design and analysis processes and tools are reviewed and a plan for the development of new design and analysis guidance and tools is described.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6781
Report Number


analysis, design, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, modeling, natural ventilation, ventilation


Emmerich, S. , Dols, W. and Axley, J. (2001), Natural Ventilation Review and Plan for Design and Analysis Tools, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created August 1, 2001, Updated February 19, 2017