Integration of Experimental and Simulation Computer Fluid Dynamics to Improve Natural Ventilation in Buildings for Hygrothermal Comfort and Energy Savings

José Roberto García Chávez

Guilebaldo Tolentino

René Tolentino

Andrés García Trujillo

ABSTRACT: Buildings consume nearly half the global annual energy use that comes mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, which provokes the emission of greenhouse gasses (GHG), and consequently global warming and climate change, among other consequences. The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2014) confirms and ratifies the necessity for immediate and sustainable actions to reduce the burning of fossil fuels. Buildings play an important role for this to come about, as they are responsible for almost half of the CO2 emissions. One strategic area for this approach to be applied is in providing effective natural ventilation in buildings to achieve the maximum possible comfort conditions for the occupants at the minimal consumption of energy. The objective of this research is focused on the integration of experimental and simulated fluid dynamics techniques in buildings, aimed at providing sustainable educational design tools for engineers and building practitioners. The results indicated that the suitable use of experimental and simulation techniques for analysis and evaluation of natural ventilation are useful tools to achieve a significant reduction on energy consumption whilst improving the occupant´s hygrothermal comfort and the environment, and to promote sustainability.

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