Design Recommendations

The 8 Feet Rule

All windows for Natural Ventilation should be positioned at least 8 above the finished floor. Any windows below 8 feet MUST have security screens installed to protect building occupants.


  • Prevent entrapment issues and potential bodily harm to occupants.
  • Window movements seem arbitrary to occupants.
  • Fall protection.
  • Optimize Ventilation in the space.

Wind Induced Ventilation

  • To maximize wind induced ventilation, the ridge of a building should be positioned perpendicular to the summer winds.
  • Regional Wind “Rose” Diagrams are available from NOAA, but can differ from remote building sites.
  • For winter winds often coming from the north, a windbreak of evergreen trees could help to reduce cold winds.

Supply and Exhaust

  • Every room should have two separate supply and exhaust vents. Exhaust vents should be positioned high above the supply inlets to maximize the stack effect.
  • Stagger vents to improve mixing of air.

Internal Airflow

  • Airflow in and out the building is paramount, but airflow between rooms must also be considered to maximize ventilation.
  • When possible, interior doors should be designed to be left open to encourage ventilation. The use of interior louvers or transoms can also accomplish this.

Free Air Movement

  • A window does not need to open 90 degrees to optimize the air flow. In fact, most control systems need only operate within a few inches to gain desirable results. Once the dimensions of the window opening total the square area of the vent, the maximum air movement has been achieved.

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