Ventilation Print

​​​​​​​​​​Design Checklist​

  1. All habitable rooms have direct access to fresh air
  2. Natural ventilation is prioritised in habitable rooms
  3. The use of mechanical ventilation is minimised to reduce energy consumption and life cycle costs


Natural ventilation allows for the circulation of fresh air through a unit to create a comfortable, healthy indoor environment.​​ Designing for natural ventilation is an environmentally sustainable practice when it responds to the local climate and reduces or eliminates the need for mechanical ventilation. To achieve natural ventilation, building orientation, floor configurations and the external building envelope must all be carefully considered.


Better Design Practice

​Design the building layout and cross section to increase the potential for natural ventilation.​

Design solutions may include:

  • Creating cross ventilation with narrow building depths, dual aspect units and corner aspect units.
  • Facilitating convective currents in two-storey or mezzanine-type units by including openings that allow warm air to escape at higher levels and cooler air to be drawn in at lower levels.

Design internal layouts to promote natural ventilation by minimising interruptions in air flow through a unit.​

Corners and multiple rooms reduce the effectiveness of natural ventilation.​

Design and place openings to maximise natural ventilation.​

Design solutions include:
  • Placing vents or openable windows on opposing sides of a unit to allow for natural cross ventilation. If ventilating into a corridor space the corridor must be well ventilated and openings must comply with fire regulations.
  • Using high casement or sash windows, clerestory windows or operable fanlight windows, including above internal doors (especially in single aspect units).
  • Incorporating openings that allow occupants to funnel breezes into the unit, such as louvered windows, casement windows and externally opening doors.
  • Using ventilation options that are secure and rainproof when left open while the unit is unoccupied.​​

Explore innovative technologies such as stack ventilation and solar chimneys to naturally ventilate internal spaces such as bathrooms, laundries and underground car parks.

The decision to use these types of systems must be made early in the design process as their effective operation depends on the design of the building.​
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