The effect of balconies on ventilation performance of low-rise buildings

Z. T. Ai, Cheuk Ming Mak, Jianlei Niu, Z. R. Li, Q. Zhou

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Chand et al. conducted experiments in a low speed wind tunnel to study the effect of balconies on the ventilative force on low-rise buildings without openings. Using their model, this study intends to investigate indoor ventilation performance by examining mass flow rate and average velocity on the working plane using computational fluid dynamics. Simulations were validated against their experiments. The numerical results indicate that, for single-sided ventilation, the provision of balconies increases mass flow rate and reduces average velocity on the working plane in most rooms, but for cross ventilation, this provision has no significant effect under normally or obliquely incident wind conditions. After the addition of balconies, the worst ventilation circumstances on the windward side under single-sided ventilation conditions were found on the intermediate floor. The simulation results also showed that, in many cases, wind flows into and out of the rooms through the left or right side of the opening rather than through the bottom and top of the opening, especially in the case of buildings that are obliquely oriented to the air stream. This phenomenon demonstrates that predictions of single-sided ventilative force using data relating to the bottom and top parts of the opening are not accurate enough.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-660
Number of pages12
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Balconies
  • CFD
  • Low-rise buildings
  • Natural ventilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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