Cross Ventilation with a double loaded corridor

wurdan freo

While it is the most efficient way to minimize your nsf/gsf ratio, one of the biggest problems I see with the double loaded corridor is that it does not lend it self to cross ventilation. Imagine the most simple rendition with each unit being a rectangle. Two opposing walls are party walls and two opposing walls are the corridor and the exterior. In this situation the corner units are the most sought after as they will have two exterior walls allowing for better light and natural ventilation.

Many of the apartments that I have rented that had this condition were very stuffy and did not ventilate well. Undulating extrusions from the corridor have helped to alleviate this stagnant condition of course this results in an increase in cost. Any ideas or examples on how cross ventilation/ natural ventilation can be improved on a double loaded corridor for multi family structures? Light wells? Verticle shafts?

Jul 22, 09 5:48 pm

section through corb's L'Unité d'habitation de Marseille !!

Jul 22, 09 7:21 pm

i was gonna say the same thing... i live in an apartment based on this model and it works pretty well whenever there is a breeze...

Jul 22, 09 7:40 pm

heck yeah, unite is a decent example.

if it's a single story, this is pretty easy. if multiple, a little trickier.

there is a project i was looking at recently but drawing a blank...

basically the walls on either side of the corridor were giant shafts the entire length of the building and all mechanical and passive venting occured in this space.

other examples would be atrium-like where the double corridor isn't a completely enclosed hallway

hermann kaufmann, Aufstocking CityPark

patkau, aquatic ecosystems lab @ ubc

dietrich|untertrifaller, hauptschule klaus

sectionally, the bottom two may be two of my favorite projects in a long time.

Jul 22, 09 9:36 pm

all the century-old schools in NYC were double-loaded corridors with clerestories that one of the crustier architects in my office remembers fondly as working very well. I have spent a few years remodelling these beautiful buildings during the summer months, and where the clerestories still exist, the climate was fantastic.

The unfortunate issue one runs into is fire-rating such a corridor. There is no good way to punch holes in an egress corridor.

Jul 23, 09 12:45 pm

My grade school (from the 1920's) had clerestories all along the corridors. Besides providing excellent natural ventilation (we only had ceiling fans and never really needed A/C) they provided nice soft daylighting to the hallways. I never noticed it until I went back to visit a few years ago.

Jul 23, 09 11:03 pm
o d b

yeah clerestories or louvered vents to the corridor can work, particularly if the corridor itself is naturally ventilated. i have worked with arup recently on a residential building in singapore that was not a double loaded corridor condition but it had some single aspect units, thereby limiting their ability to have cross ventilation. imagine two back-to-back units entered from an elevator lobby that run longitudinally parallel to the facade. (does that make sense?) their suggestions included vent ducts that would run through the other unit to the opposite facade.

on a side note, it seems virtually impossible, in my limited experience, to design a double loaded corridor in singapore because of the code requirements for naturally ventilation and escape distance and developers stringent GFA demands.

Jul 26, 09 12:57 am

odb, that i interesting observation.

we just did proposal for project in singapore and in end came up with own typology to get around that issue. we were looking at OMA's "stack of boxes" project there as reference (can't recall name), one still in prelim design phase and it looks like double-loaded system from outside. no plans so can't say for sure, but the examples i have seen for single aspect types in singapore tend to have horrid shafts between units that really kill the soul. that on top of the insane GFA as you say really stretched our ability to come up with anything remotely liveable....out of curiosity, did you find same issue?, do you know of any projects that resolve this issue for tall buildings and not just low-rise office-type layouts?

Jul 26, 09 10:20 pm
wurdan freo

Great ideas and examples. I was not familiar with the Unite project. Am I correct in reading the section that it is three levels with the common hallway running through the second floor? It seems to me that navigating the life safety issue could be tough if the units were only on a single floor. What is the typical rating of a corridor for these project types? 1 hr? Can you put windows in a 1 hour wall? Probably have to be rated or sprinklered?

Jul 28, 09 10:14 am

Mechanical ventilation is probably the best solution. If Unite were built today, the elevator and egress stair would have to serve each level, not just every other one. At least this is true in NYC. A large apartment building typically has 2hr rated corridors with sprinklers throughout the building. Fire rated glass is possible, but expensive and can discolor over time. Acoustic separation is also a concern. Cross ventilation is great, but if the project requires double-loaded corridors, I don't see how to make it work.

Jul 30, 09 12:51 am

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