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Natural Cross Flow Ventilation

Posted by Paul Ackling 10th Feb 2015

These hotter months have many people thinking about how to cool down their home. Many people don’t give much thought as they flick the air conditioning switch and wait for the house to cool. The impact of this is not only felt when your electricity bill arrives but has a significant effect on peak power usage and, more importantly, our environment.

Maximising the benefits of cross flow ventilation, however, can lessen and (particularly here on the Northern Beaches of Sydney) alleviate the use of air conditioning completely.


Maximising the natural cross flow of air is not something new, in fact, it has been utilised in warmer parts of the world for centuries. However, with modern Australian homes growing larger over time and mass production/generic homes becoming the norm, many homeowners have never experienced just how effective a well designed home that makes full uses of the prevailing breezes can be.

Our individually designed homes always provide lines of direct cross flow to maximise the effects. Most of our cooling breezes come from a southern direction, so this is often where the focus is, however, it is also important to provide flexibility and ease of use in the design and fittings.

As you can see from this plan we have provided, direct flow paths from rear to front and also from side to side in the main living space. In this particular home, the entry door has an openable highlight window to allow airflow with privacy. It also has a raised ceiling in the kitchen with openable windows that will allow warm air to be drawn up and out of the home. The stairwell also has openable windows to provide the same effect.

The genuine effectiveness of good crossflow ventilation is proven by the number of our past clients living “comfortably” in their modern, well designed homes. Savouring a positive connection with the natural environment and enjoying the smaller power costs associated for the life of their home.


Cross flow ventilation is most effective when you open the window that is receiving a gentler breeze slightly less than the window on the opposite wall. This produces a vacuum effect and will enhance air flow.


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