W8LP3 Design and Performance of Naturally Ventilation in Non-Domestic Passivhaus Buildings
14th July 2017 Murat Mustafa

Design and Performance of Naturally Ventilation in Non-Domestic Passivhaus Buildings

Murat Mustafa, Loughborough



The medical Centre at the University of Leicester (UoL) is a highly advanced building in terms of design, construction and facilities management. It is the largest non-domestic certified Passivhaus in the UK. The building includes an auditorium space which is challenging to design for in naturally ventilated buildings due to the high internal gains. An additional challenge in the UoL building is the low ceiling which inhibits temperature stratification which is a fundamental characteristic in buoyancy-driven natural ventilation. Nevertheless, acceptable indoor air quality and thermal comfort should be provided for occupants with minimum energy usage.



To generate design guidelines for high occupancy naturally ventilated spaces in Passivhaus buildings



  1. To conduct a critical review of literature related to Passivhaus design, Passivhaus performance, natural ventilation, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling and related topics.
  2. To conduct a CFD simulation of the auditorium at the University of Leicester’s (UoL’s) Centre for Medicine to predict thermal comfort, fresh air distribution and thermal stratification
  3. Measure temperature, CO2, RH and air speed in the auditorium to determine thermal comfort, fresh air distribution and thermal stratification.
  4. Liaise with FM at UoL to collect specific data from the BMS relating to auditorium performance, damper positions and temperature set points.
  5. Use data from (3) and (4) to validate the CFD predictions in (2).
  6. Apply the CFD model to various operating scenarios (to be agreed with UoL)
  7. Develop design guidelines.



  • Collaboration with UoL
  • PHOENICS CFD simulations will be used to predict ventilation performance
  • Temperature/RH hobos and CO2 sensors will be installed to measure indoor and outdoor conditions
  • Spot measurements of air speed will be recorded using hot-wire anemometers
  • Discussions with UoL will inform the CFD simulations conducted and the operating conditions used.
  • Drawings from UoL will be used to generate the CFD model.


Project Team


Murat Mustafa


Malcolm Cook


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