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28CE - Natural Ventilation: The Art of Balancing Heat and Air

08 May 2014 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM

3 ConEd learning hours

This session is also offered Wednesday, May 07, 2014 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM  

Course Outline

This session will cover the basics of natural ventilation, the design process and project examples.  It will focus on the following key points.

What is Natural Ventilation- A definition as well as how it impacts designers.

Human requirements- What are people’s expectations and their base needs (ventilation, temperature etc.) from natural ventilation.

Driving forces- The physics behind Natural Ventilation.

Design process- An examination of the typical methods for implementing natural ventilation followed by a recommended improved approach.

Examples- Project examples completed by RWDI.

Is it working? Conclusions and closing thoughts about Natural Ventilation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to identify risks and opportunities in buildings for natural ventilation.
  2. A process to develop a viable natural ventilation system.
  3. The range of simple and complex modeling and analysis tools available to support design.
  4. How other building designs have incorporated natural ventilation into a variety of projects. 


John Alberico is a Project Director specializing in air quality and microclimate assessments. He joined RWDI in 1988, and became a Principal in 2004.  He is a Canadian Certified Environmental Professional.

As a Project Director, he provides overall technical direction to engineering teams on air quality and microclimate projects ensuring that a high level of service is provided and RWDI’s interests are preserved on all projects.

John’s area of technical expertise is in exhaust and dust dispersion, and wind flow around buildings, which has included involvement in several hundred projects providing expert consultation, and conducting both numerical and wind tunnel modelling. His primary focus has been in the institutional, healthcare, higher education and pharmaceutical sectors.  His involvement in many of these projects has included environmental impact assessments and Certificates of Approval in Ontario.

John has also managed engineering teams that have provided air quality, odour, dust, ventilation, noise, acoustic and vibration assessments for a broad range of applications on local, national and international projects. These have included pits and quarries, landfills, composting facilities, roadways, residential developments, and industrial facilities in addition to healthcare, higher education and pharmaceutical facilities.

Michael Carl is a Senior Technical Coordinator at RWDI, specializing in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and building science.  Michael received his Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Guelph in 2005 and his Master of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Victoria in 2008.  Over the past five years at RWDI Michael has worked on numerous projects using CFD, including evaluating the HVAC system for the grand Mosque at Makkah and the transport of sand over large stretches of newly developed railway in Saudi Arabia.  Michael has also focused on natural and mechanical ventilation in garages, bus terminals and atria including the coupling of advanced modeling techniques such as CFD with RWDI’s in-house wind tunnel and analytical models to evaluate and improve design.

Duncan Phillips’s area is air movement as it affects people and processes. He began as a senior technical leader in the RWDI CFD modeling department. Within a year, he was a key client contact of the department. Within five years, business development was also part of his role. Now as a lead consultant, he continues to mentor technical teams.

One of Duncan's professional passions is applying climate forecasting processes and technologies to improve building design, increase human comfort, and reduce environmental impact. He has done innovative work on natural ventilation, the use of thermal mass to store and release heat, and the use of "wind towers" to cool streetscapes. Says Duncan: "Most people at RWDI have a sense of ethical responsibility to reduce human impacts on the environment. We are fortunate to be able to apply our ethics in the work we do."

Recently transferred to the U.K. from Guelph, Duncan says his family has adapted well. His kids love to travel, and although he misses the solitude and remote landscapes of Ontario when camping, he and his family are pleased to be exploring another part of the world.