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Our most recent MAGIC Partners meeting was a great success, with over 50 participants taking part in the discussion about natural ventilation.
The morning session was focused on monitoring. MAGIC Research Assistant Dr Shiwei Fan presented the latest findings from our monitoring experiments at the London South Bank University, followed by presentations from Philip Cunningham from AirLabs, who discussed the monitoring of particulate matter conducted alongside the MAGIC experiments, and Jim Mills from Air Monitors who talked about the potential for monitoring to inform the design and operation of ventilation systems in buildings and help improve energy performance.
Dr Laetitia Mottet then presented the latest findings from MAGIC’s Fluidity modelling and outlined the work planned and underway to make the MAGIC model as realistic as possible—including considering the impact of trees, traffic movement and roof-shape on pollution.
After lunch our new Research Assistant Dr Tania Sharmin presented her recent work developing scenarios that describe the key issues that end-users (architects, designers, planners etc.), will need the MAGIC tool to address as they consider how and whether to use natural ventilation in their developments and buildings. We think that the impact of (i) green and blue spaces, (ii) urban form and (iii) traffic patterns are the most relevant considerations in this context. But we’re very keen to get the input of potential end-users to see if they agree. Feedback given at the Partners Meeting gave us some useful initial insights, including the need for the final MAGIC tool to be flexible enough so that it can be used from the earliest stages of the design process when a lot of variables are still under consideration.
In our afternoon session we were excited to have presentations from Stephen Inch, Air Quality expert at the GLA and Brett Ormrod from Foster and Partners. Stephen outlined various initiatives to tackle air pollution in London such as ‘healthy streets’ schemes to encourage people to travel by foot, bike and public transport. He also explained how the Mayor is aiming to integrate air quality into the design of all new developments. Of course, these measures have strong synergies with the uptake of natural ventilation in London’s buildings.
Finally, Brett Ormrod gave us a run-down of lessons learnt from the naturally ventilated (and recently completed) Bloomberg Building in London. Although this bespoke building is not going to give ’plug and play’ solutions for natural ventilation, there is optimism that knowledge and learning will filter down. Brett noted that, retrospectively, it would have helped the design process for the natural ventilation system if there had been a better way of modelling pollution. Of course, that’s something that we at MAGIC are aiming to deliver.