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Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 902; doi:10.3390/su9060902

Why Are Naturally Ventilated Office Spaces Not Popular in New Zealand?

1
School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, Palmerston North 4474, New Zealand
2
School of Architecture, University of Lincoln, Lincoln LN6 7TS, UK
3
Focus Construction Group, Auckland 0610, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 2 May 2017 / Accepted: 19 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability Assessments of Buildings)
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Abstract

In this paper, we investigated the reason(s) why natural ventilation is not as popular as air-conditioned or mixed-mode ventilation systems in Green-rated office buildings in New Zealand. To achieve this, we had three objectives. Firstly, we reviewed the Green Star criteria for thermal comfort in office buildings to ascertain which ventilation system the NZ Green Star rating tool promotes. Secondly, we ascertained the perception of occupants in office buildings regarding thermal comfort. This was followed by an interview with building experts regarding factors that affect the use of natural ventilation in New Zealand offices. The findings showed that the NZ Green Star thermal comfort criteria encourage the use of mechanical ventilation over natural ventilation which results in designers opting for air conditioning systems in office designs. We observed that occupants of naturally ventilated spaces were least satisfied with the thermal comfort of their offices when compared with occupants of mixed-mode and air-conditioned offices. This study fulfils the need to encourage the use of natural ventilation in office environments by designers and building owners. Further study on other aspects of the indoor environment quality that is related to naturally ventilated systems such as lighting and noise is required in a bid to ascertain its viability in office environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural ventilation; Green Star rating tool; thermal comfort; environmental sustainability natural ventilation; Green Star rating tool; thermal comfort; environmental sustainability
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Rasheed, E.O.; Byrd, H.; Money, B.; Mbachu, J.; Egbelakin, T. Why Are Naturally Ventilated Office Spaces Not Popular in New Zealand? Sustainability 2017, 9, 902.

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