In the mid-1980s, two London architects postulated that deflection of higher speed air from tall slab buildings could increase air infiltration from a neighbouring low-rise block, increasing its associated ventilation heat loss. These issues have been of much concern during the past two decades among designers, developers and local authorities; especially those considering in-fill near tall buildings. This preliminary study looks at the ventilation and space-heating loss of a three-storey low-rise office block located near a taller nine-storey slab building.
Air infiltration continues to play a major role in the ventilation of houses, despite modern trends to increased airtightness of the building envelope. In colder climates, stack effect is the principal driving force for this natural air exchange. The neutral pressure level divides the envelope areas subjected to stack effect pressures driving infiltration from those subjected to pressures driving exfiltration. The neutral pressure level is therefore important to our understanding of stack driven air exchange and our ability to model it.
The paper presents a proposal of numerical procedure for air flow simulation in multi-zone buildings (up to 100 zones). This procedure can work with 1 hour time-step according torequirement of TRNSYS-a well-known modular system simulation programme. Co-operation between TRNSYS and my own programme is analysed, taking a typical Polish 5-storey dwelling house as an object of simulation. The proposed numerical procedure can also be run as an independent programme calculating the ventilation air flow, air change rate and heat losses due to infiltration.
The equivalent leakage area algorithm is used to illustrate the use of statistical simulations to predict distributions of infiltration and energy loss for buildings. The important parameters in the model are: leakage at 50 Pa pressurisation, indoor and outdoor temperature, leakage in the ceiling and the floor, wind speed, building height and shielding class. Most of these parameters are not known accurately. In the statistical method we assumed for each a distribution based on measurement or good guess.
A combined thermal and ventilation model has been used to investigate the seasonal variation of air infiltration rates and ventilation heat losses in modern industrial buildings. The model was initially compared to measurements of ventilation rates, temperatures and heating loads in such a building, and was found to agree well. The model was then used to predict infiltration rates, temperatures, ventilation heat losses and space heating loads for a standard heating season for that building.