Natural Ventilation as a Passive Cooling Strategy Aimed at Summer Overheating Reduction in Heritage Buildings: The Case Study of Vleeshuis Museum in Antwerp, Belgium


The challenge of reducing energy demand while improving people indoor comfort also for historical and heritage buildings is becoming an European economic and scientific interest. Historic buildings are not always equipped with mechanical systems for indoor microclimatic control, therefore the indoor climate is strongly dependent from outdoor environmental parameters and specific building dynamic behaviours. Due to this building permeable system, people and exhibits thermal comfort, might drastically change during the year or even during a specific day depending on the fluctuation rapidity of each thermophysical indexes. Although the energy and environmental improvement, also for existing buildings is properly considered as a priority within European energy saving directives, the design aims have to be merged with the fundamental needs of building protection. Therefore in historical and monumental buildings, each energy retrofitting strategy should be based on the minimum intervention approach. Reducing the internal summer heating load by increasing the natural cross ventilation or by allowing air mass exchange between different building parts, responds to the double aim of improving the indoor comfort for people and artworks while reducing the energy cooling demand. Furthermore the building architectural integrity may be retained. In the proposed contribution, an onsite instrumental monitoring campaign has been combined with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The research aims at investigating people and artworks thermal comfort enhancement by exploiting the building geometric conformation.

Author Information
Giovanni Litti, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Amaryllis Audenaert, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Johan Braet, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Paper Information
Conference: ECSEE2014
Stream: Cultural Sustainability: Protecting

This paper is part of the ECSEE2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon