Move the heat around, and ventilate the house Print

Design Outcome


Better Design Practice

Provide windows on external walls to make all habitable rooms, including studies, naturally lit and ventilated.
Ventilation is extremely important as many health issues are connected to warm, damp conditions. 

​There are different ways to ventilate and move heat around the house.
Stack ventilation moves air vertically up through the house and ventilates it through a high window, while cross ventilation works by having a pressure difference on different sides of the building. It is also possible to use the cycle (hot air rising and cool air falling) to redistribute heat through the house. 

​For service areas, corridors, and bathrooms; other forms of glazing and ventilation can be used.
It can be hard to control unwanted heat loss and gain through glass ceilings and skylights, therefore clerestories (high windows above eye level) may be a better option. 

Light tubes (also known as solar tubes) can be fitted with double glazing and ventilation and can be a very effective means of lighting and ventilating internal spaces. 

Provide windows on two walls of a room wherever possible, to allow for cross ventilation. 

Position windows and doors to take advantage of cooling summer breezes, while avoiding prevailing winter winds.
The house should be protected against the cold south westerly winds, and opened up to the cooling effect of the warmer north-easterlies. These are Auckland’s prevailing winds, but this can change depending on the specific conditions of the site. 

Design the house to utilise the ‘stack effect’ to optimise how natural air movement can cool the house. 

Use fans as a way of circulating cool air in summer, and warm air (which can rise and be trapped against the ceiling) in winter.
Warmer air in the upper rooms including the roof space may be mechanically ducted back into colder lower levels of the house. 

​​Ventilate all bathrooms and kitchens to the outside to prevent a build up of moisture.
Natural ventilation is preferred, but mechanical ventilation must be provided if this is not possible.

Rules of Thumb

To allow for cross ventilation, the breeze path should be less than 15m, windows should be at least 1m2 in area and there should be no more than one interior door in the path.

For stack effect ventilation, the outlet opening should be three metres higher than the inlet.

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