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Stack Ventilation
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British High Commission
Richard Murphy Architects Ltd
389 Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Credit: David Morris / Richard Murphy Architects.
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Cazayoux Residence
EnvironMental Design (Edward J. Cazayoux, FAIA)
Breaux Bridge, Louisiana
Credit: Edward Cazayoux.
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Sustainable Urban Science Center, Germantown Friends School
SMP Architects
31 West Coulter Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Credit: Barry Halkin Photography.
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Endrup School
Fredensborg, Denmark
Credit: VELUX.
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Dining room
Credit: VELUX.
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Green School
PT Bambu
Bali, Indonesia
Credit: Iwan Baan.
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Lanchester Library
Short and Associates
Gosford Street, Coventry, United Kingdom
Credit: Martine Hamilton-Knight.
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Thomas Eco-House
Designs Northwest Architects
Stanwood, Washington, United States
Credit: Lucas Henning.
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Science House at the Science Museum of Minnesota
Barbour LaDouceur Design Group
120 West Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota, United States
Credit: Barbour LaDouceur Design Group.
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New Environmental Office, Building Research Establishment
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Bucknalls Lane, Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Credit: Dennis Gilbert / View Pictures.
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Tree House
Jackson Clements Burrows Architects
Separation Creek, Victoria, Australia
Credit: John Gollings.
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Martha Harmon Residence
Edward J. Cazayoux, FAIA of EnvironMental Design
Crowley, Louisiana, United States
Credit: Cazayoux.
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Tamarama House
Tony Owen Partners
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Credit: Brett Boardman.
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A Forest for a Moon Dazzler
Benjamin Garcia Saxe
Playa Avellanas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Credit: Andres Garcia Lachner.
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Containers of Hope
Benjamin Garcia Saxe
Ciudad Colon, San Jose, Costa Rica
Credit: Andres Garcia Lachner.
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Sorby House
Bond Bryan Architects
42 Spital Hill, Burngreave, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Credit: Jonathan Hart.
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Openings located low and high, and on opposite sides of a space, create a ‘stack effect’ – warm indoor air rising out through high openings, drawing in cooler outdoor air through low openings.

Using the air’s buoyancy resulting from a difference in its temperature - climates with a minimum 1.7°C (3°F) difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures - the stack effect in a space, or within a ventilation shaft, will induce an air current that removes hot air from a space or building.

Guidelines for locating inlet and outlet openings:

  • Residential spaces – a minimum of 3 meters (10 feet) apart in height.
  • Commercial spaces – a minimum of 4.6 meters (15 feet) apart in height.

The greater the height between openings, the greater the air movement. Locate inlet openings below the height of an occupants’ upper body – 0.76 m to 1.37 m (2½ ft. to 4½ ft.) above finished floor.

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Stack Ventilation

Stack Ventilation Shaft

Stack ventilation shafts use the air’s buoyancy effect resulting from a difference in its temperature.

Stack Ventilation in a Space

SV can be applied in spaces with high ceilings and significant difference in height between operable windows or vents.


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