Ventilative cooling in shopping centers' retrofit
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Nearly all retail buildings use ventilation and cooling systems to ensure adequate air exchange, primarily for hygienic reasons, and indoor comfort temperatures. The ventilation systems that provide for a continuous inflow of fresh air are driven by mechanical ventilation. Considering the trend towards longer opening hours and increased number of opening days, the electricity consumption due to ventilation and conditioning systems is expected to continue to rise across Europe. Specific inefficiencies observed in retail buildings regard mainly energy losses due to ventilation, absence of free cooling strategies and unmodulated airflow for different periods of the day which lead to energy losses for higher than necessary air distribution rates and consequently demand for cooling or heating. Within the EU FP7 CommONEnergy project which aims at developing energy efficient retrofit solutions for shopping centres, a special effort is put on ventilative cooling solutions. The effective use of natural or hybrid ventilation reduces the energy consumption of cooling systems while ensuring an acceptable level of thermal comfort. The paper investigates the retrofit opportunities to exploit ventilative cooling in shopping malls taking into account climate condition, architectural features and level of retrofit.