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Cross Ventilation 101

What is cross ventilation? Cross ventilation is access to fresh air on the opposite end of the space through an opening or operable window. Ideally, cross ventilation is best for regions and sites that have access to wind or breezes.

How important is it to have cross ventilation? Cross ventilation removes 'stale' air and replaces it with 'fresh' air. It helps to moderate internal temperatures, and reduce the accumulation of moisture, odors and other gasses that can build up during occupied periods. It is a critical part of design especially within a hot tropical climate since houses can become very hot and uncomfortable without proper ventilation.

Strategies for Cross Ventilation

1. Minimum Two Openings

For cross ventilation to work, at least two openings (windows or doors) must be in the room. It works best when at least one opening faces prevailing winds and the other opening on the opposite side of the room.

2. Short Distance Between Openings

Shorter distance between the openings in a room or home is ideal for adequate cross ventilation. If both openings are far apart, there will not be enough air pressure to reach both openings.

3. Unobstructed Paths For Wind

A clear, unobstructed path for the wind to flow through the room is also an excellent property for cross ventilation to work well. Partitions however are utilized to change the direction and slow down the air flow.


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