Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sustainable Buildings Research Centre


The recent development of many environmentally high-performance buildings with low or net-zero energy consumption, together with the aim of providing comfortable and healthy indoor thermal environments, has led to a renewed interest in the implementation of natural ventilation systems as an alternative to the more commonplace mechanically ventilated and air conditioned solution of past decades.

However, the uptake of natural ventilation in modern buildings, particularly in the non-residential sectors, has been somewhat limited due to the unsteady and unpredictable nature of the forces that drive natural ventilation, such as wind speed and direction, and indoor-to-outdoor temperature differences. Although a great deal of research has been carried out previously to address this issue, there are still some research gaps on the optimisation of natural ventilation from building design through to building operations that remain to be filled. For example, the occupant perceptions of indoor thermal comfort in high performance buildings with advanced natural ventilation still need to be further studied. As building opening is the key factor influencing the natural ventilation effect, it is necessary to systematically analyse the overall influence of all the window parameters; how to develop an automatic window control strategy that could respond to the dynamic change of weather conditions to fully tap the natural wind potential.

The intention in the present work was to carry out an investigation into the indoor thermal comfort of high performance buildings using natural/mixed-mode ventilation and to also develop strategies for the window design and operation optimisation in order to realise a low-carbon and liveable built environment.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.