Modelling natural ventilation for summer thermal comfort in Mediterranean dwellings

Eftychia Spentzou, Malcolm J. Cook, Stephen Emmitt

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Natural ventilation in apartment dwellings in densely built regions could improve occupants' summer thermal comfort and reduce the rapidly increasing energy demand for cooling. This research identified natural ventilation strategies as energy efficient refurbishment solutions for domestic buildings. Four retrofit strategies were tested against the existing single-sided ventilation of an urban multi-storey apartment building in Greece, using computational fluid dynamics simulations. During buoyancy driven flows, acceptable ventilation rates for comfort could be achieved with the implementation of a wind-catcher and a dynamic façade. Under wind-driven ventilation, these strategies delivered significant increases in ventilation rates (up to seven times) and contributed to reductions in indoor air temperatures of up to 2 °C, relative to the existing strategy. Cooling by water evaporation enhanced the cooling performance of the wind-catcher providing up to 4 °C temperature reductions. The successful performance of the proposed strategies highlights their significant potential for reducing energy consumption and improving thermal comfort.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-45
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Ventilation
Issue number1
Early online date22 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Mediterranean dwellings
  • Natural ventilation
  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • passive cooling
  • simulation
  • thermal comfort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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