Natural Ventilation

Photo: AAM123. License: CC BY-SA 3.0.


There are three primary reasons to design a building for natural ventilation.

  • Energy savings can be dramatic.

  • Occupant satisfaction is usually very high.

  • Indoor air quality is significantly better.

So why isn’t natural ventilation just a given in every design? It usually has more to do with perception than with physics.

Here you’ll find an in-depth look at the benefits of and barriers to natural ventilation as well as strategies for smart design.

  • Clean, Fresh Air: Getting What We Need
    November 7, 2016

    Feature Article

    Human health probably benefits from more fresh air than current ventilation standards require. But pulling in outdoor air can mean pulling in pollution.

  • Natural Ventilation: The Nine Biggest Obstacles and How Project Teams Are Beating Them
    August 3, 2014

    Feature Article

    Designers are reinventing the art and science of passive comfort control even where climate and culture favor mechanical systems.

  • Designing for the Next Century's Weather
    September 30, 2013

    Feature Article

    How do you create a climate-responsive building in a changing climate? Brand new modeling techniques are helping us figure it out.

  • Design for Adaptation: Living in a Climate-Changing World
    August 28, 2009

    Feature Article

    Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, rising global temperatures would still bring major changes to the climate system and our way of life. This article offers solutions for designing buildings that not only mitigate our impact on the global climate, but also adapt to the changes that are coming-and those that are already here.

  • How Six Affordable Housing Projects Got to Green
    October 6, 2017

    Feature Short

    Stories of designers and developers who overcame the challenges of building affordable housing that is also green, sustainable, and healthy.

  • Do Living Walls Make for Cleaner Indoor Air?
    May 26, 2017

    Product Review

    Nedlaw Living Wall Biofilters do more than most green walls to remove VOCs, but it’s unclear that they provide a true fresh air supply.

  • Façade as Ventilation: Moving beyond Open Windows
    March 8, 2017

    Product Review

    AirFlow Panels supply air and recover energy on commercial building façades, improving air quality while reducing energy and space requirements.

  • Designing Natural Ventilation: Will the Breeze Follow Your Pointy Arrows?
    January 29, 2015


    While airflow analysis isn't part of most building simulations today, it is part of nearly all low-energy buildings. Unfortunately, many architects aren't well-positioned to take advantage of this opportunity because they aren't trained to set up or interpret most airflow models. This webcast will introduce you to new software that enables you to engage more fully with airflow investigations required to validate design strategies.

  • Tuning Today’s Building Designs to Tomorrow’s Climate
    August 3, 2014

    News Analysis

    A new modeling tool, WeatherShift, helps designers see how designs today can account for comfort, resilience, and energy needs decades down the line.

  • Three Sources of Air-Pressure Problems in Buildings
    May 5, 2014


    Air movement in and through buildings caused by pressure differentials has important effects on performance and safety.