Simmons Hall, MIT: Ventilation

With the help of engineers from Arup, Holl aimed to leverage the benefits of natural ventilation via the building’s more than 5,500 windows. Cli- mate engineers at Arup tested a natural ventila- tion scheme for one side of the building, with windows open but doors to the corridor closed. With a design air temperature of 90°F and humidity at 50% RH, natural ventilation did not sufficient- ly cool the space [footnote]. Cross ventilation – despite bringing temperatures and humidity lev- els within acceptable ranges – was not compliant with fire codes, but was able to be implemented in a limited portion of the building. Holl and Arup hope that “such research may lead to code-accept- able strategies for cross-ventilating high-rise residences.” These rooms are currently being moni- tored and documented by MIT’s Building Engineering Department.

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