PDEC Faculty buildings, Ahmedabad

See Masterplan for wider campus project overview.
At the scale of the individual building the main component of the cooling strategy is the use of Passive Downdraught Evaporative Cooling (PDEC) to lower air temperatures whilst naturally ventilating the buildings.
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As an alternative to conventional methods the system is inherently low carbon as it takes advantage of ambient heat sinks. Evaporative cooling occurs as a result of the latent heat of vaporisation. PDEC relies on the effect of gravity on a body of relatively cold air, to create a downdraught.
Screen shot 2014-09-29 at 17.57.30 Currently the most effective way to induce evaporative cooling is to use misting nozzles to spray micronised water droplets into the air stream. By setting up misting towers within the architecture, cool air can be delivered throughout the height and depth of a multi-storey building.
PDEC is energy efficient, as it does not require fans making it increasingly attractive as electricity prices rise. This environmentally beneficial alternative reduces the need for investment in supply infrastructure whilst reducing C02 emissions and harmful refrigerants.
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These buildings achieve deeper plans on the basis that the cooling towers can puncture through, delivering fresh cooled air and daylight to the perimeter.
The buildings developed in this study learn from the overhangs featured on 19th Century Havelis (courtyard houses). These overhangs shade the building from the consistently high altitude of the sun. making use of the stepped section to release exhausted air out of the building. During the hottest period, air still cooler than ambient conditions must be dropped out of the building when the misting tower is in use.
The vaulted brick duct work encourages air flow into the adjoining spaces, directly feeding the air into the spaces allows the ground plane and space between the building elements to remain open.
Residual cool air falling through the tower can enter the lower levels, slowly finding its way out through outlets placed at the periphery of the spaces.
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