Breathing Buildings - Natural & Low Energy Ventilation
Natural Ventilation - Passive Ventilation - Low Energy e-stack Mixing Ventilation
Breathing Buildings is the UK’s leading low energy ventilation company – home of the E-Stack® mixing ventilation system that is changing the world of natural ventilation.
When we started the company back in 2006 there was a choice between cold draughts and wasteful pre-heating of air. Our patented E-Stack® mixing ventilation products and strategy, allied to smart controls and superb engineering has changed that forever. The benefits of mixing ventilation are now so clear that it is being written into regulations, a testimony to the evidence we can show you of making it work.
Let us help you change the world...
The Breathing Buildings Difference
The Breathing Buildings philosophy of natural ventilation stems from pioneering research at Cambridge University and the groundbreaking E-Stack® Natural Ventilation system. The research at Cambridge identified a paradox with ventilation – many naturally ventilated buildings were found to use more energy than mechanically ventilated ones! This was solved by developing a new approach to natural ventilation which is now completely changing the industry.
The traditional method of naturally ventilating a building was to bring air in at one location and to exhaust it from another. In winter, the problem of cold draughts was overcome by pre-heating the air with a radiator or other such device. However, in modern well insulated buildings, if the cold fresh air has been pre-heated to 16ºC by a radiator then the space becomes incredibly hot if the ventilation rate is limited to the minimum required in terms of CO2 levels. This results in spaces being over-ventilated, and therefore the radiators emitting more heat to pre-heat higher quantities of cold air.
This conundrum was solved by treating the heat gains in the space as a benefit to be used rather than a problem. A new method of naturally ventilating a building in winter was devised which requires the incoming cold fresh air to be mixed with warm room air before it reaches occupants. With this winter mixing natural ventilation strategy, the heat gains in the space are used to effectively pre-heat the air and the heating bills for naturally ventilated buildings can be reduced dramatically; by 50% over the whole year.
In warmer weather, when cold draughts are no longer a problem, the strategy reverts back to the conventional displacement natural ventilation concept with Night Cooling and Summer Boost. If openings are available at lower level then these are used as the inflow and the higher level vents provide the exhaust.
Natural Ventilation Delivered
The patented system developed by Breathing Buildings which utilises the pioneering concept is called the E-Stack®. In order to quantify the energy savings of the E-Stack® system, in-depth IES modelling has been undertaken to compare the performance of various ventilation strategies.
The poorest system in terms of energy use is in fact the traditional opening window or low level damper with integrated heating element. The amount of heating energy expended in overcoming the cold draught problem is simply heinous!
The excessive heating energy used by this type of system has now resulted in the regulations for new schools in the UK Priority Schools Building Programme stating that fresh air must be pre-mixed in winter.
The lowest energy solution is the E-Stack® system. The heating energy use is marginally higher than with MVHR, but the fan power is considerably lower. This is because the fans within the E-Stack® system are used for mixing rather than driving the flow through ducts and mixing is a much lower energy process.
What We Do for Our Clients
We aim to help clients create the lowest energy building possible with minimum associated CO2 emissions and capital cost, whilst providing appropriate levels of ventilation and thermal comfort at all times of the year. We do this through our range of innovative ventilation products and through our unique design consulting. We also offer a turnkey solution for our clients including:
- Design support throughout the project
- Dynamic thermal modelling
- In room user interface
- BMS integration
- Final inspection
- Service & maintenance contracts
- Ongoing monitoring
We will work with you from start to finish to ensure a successful project.