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Andre J Fanthome

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House Under Shadows / Zero Energy Design Lab

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Back to Basics: Natural Ventilation and its Use in Different Contexts

Automation is everywhere around us - our homes, furniture, offices, cars, and even our clothing; we have become so accustomed to being surrounded by automated systems that we have forgotten what life was like without them. And while automation has noticeably improved the quality of interior spaces with solutions like purified air and temperature control, nothing compares to the natural cool breeze of mother nature.

But just like everything else in architecture, there is no one size fits all; what works in Tanzania cannot work in Switzerland or Colombia. This is due to several reasons, such as the difference in wind direction, average temperature, spatial needs, and environmental restrictions (or lack thereof). In this article, we take a look at natural ventilation in all its forms, and how architects have employed this passive solution in different contexts. 

Obafemi University. Image via Prof. Dr. Zvi Efrat's Documentary© Dilanka BandaraFarming Kindergarten . Image © Hiroyuki Oki© Fernando Alda+ 30

Avadh Shilpgram / Archohm

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Lucknow, India

RAAS Chhatrasagar Hotel / Studio Lotus

© Avesh Gaur© Noughts & Crosses LLP© Noughts & Crosses LLP© Avesh Gaur+ 36

Stacked House / Studio Lotus

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New Delhi, India

Institute of Engineering and Technology – Ahmedabad University / Vir.Mueller Architects

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Ahmedabad, India

Natural Ventilation Isn't the Most Efficient Solution in All Cases

Ventilation serves two main purposes in a room: first, to remove pollutants and provide clean air; second, to meet the metabolic needs of the occupants, providing pleasant temperatures (weather permitting). It is well known that environments with inadequate ventilation can bring serious harm to the health of the occupants and, especially in hot climates, thermal discomfort. A Harvard University study demonstrated that in buildings with good ventilation and better air quality (with lower rates of carbon dioxide), occupants showed better performance of cognitive functions, faster responses to extreme situations, and better reasoning in strategic activities.

It is not difficult to see that ventilation plays a vital role in ensuring adequate air quality and thermal comfort in buildings. We have all felt it. But when we talk about ventilation, a light breeze from the window might come to mind, shifting through our hair and bringing a pleasant aroma and cooling temperature that brings fresh air and comfort. In mild climates, this experience can even be a reality on many days of the year. In harsh climates or polluted spaces, it could be quite different.

Integrated Production Facility for Organic India / Studio Lotus

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  • Architects: Studio Lotus
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  1200000 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Asian Paints, Bezel Designs, Bharat Flooring Tiles, Blue Star, Fabindia, +9

62, Jorbagh / common Ground practice

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Nureca Inc Offices / NOOR Architects Consultants

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Chandigarh, India

Cleft House / Anagram Architects

© Andre J. Fanthome© Andre J. Fanthome© Suryan Dang© Suryan Dang+ 31

Nueva Delhi, India

Office for Communique / groupDCA

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Boys Hostel Block / Zero Energy Design Lab

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Gurugram, India

Taksila Roots / SGA-STUDIO

© Andre J. Fanthome
© Andre J. Fanthome

© Andre J. Fanthome© Andre J. Fanthome© Andre J. FanthomeCourtesy of SGA-STUDIO+ 31

Dilli Haat / Archohm Consults

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ICRIER / vir.mueller architects

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Outré House / Anagram Architects

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New Delhi, India

Museum of Socialism-Jayaprakash Narayan Interpretation Center / Archohm

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Lucknow, India