Simon Burton
Bibliographic info:
Energie Demonstration Pr oject NNE5 –1999 -193

The COOLHOUSE project demonstrates the use of passive cooling techniques in southern regions of Europe which are aimed at giving comfortable summer conditions in domestic scale buildings without the use of mechanical cooling  systems. The project focussed on three sites, a private development of houses for sale in south west Portugal, an old people’s home in south France and a community centre in mid Italy. All are new buildings and were designed to provide cool internal conditions by passive means such as using solar shading and thermal mass, with the addition in all three cases of ground cooling pipes, through which external air is drawn, cooled by the ground and delivered to the buildings when cooling is needed. This combination of measures was designed, constructed and monitored as part of the project. The ground pipe systems used PVC pipes buried 2-3 metres below ground with air drawn through using electric fans. The results demonstrate that the whole package of measures is successful in providing summer comfort, particularly the ground pipes in the Portuguese and French cases, where cool air was always available when external temperatures were high. There is also benefits to the heating of the buildings in winter if the preheated air is used. The project concludes that there are no architectural difficulties in buried pipe system or providing and using internal thermal
mass and that the COOLHOUSE package of measures could be replicated in different building types across all southern Europe, and possibly in more northern regions as global warming advances making the requirement for cooling of buildings more common in the future.