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Ulrike Passe

Author: Heather Sauer | Image: Heather Sauer

Ulrike Passe, associate professor of architecture and director of the ISU Center for Building Energy Research, collaborated with Baskar Ganapathysubramanian, professor of mechanical engineering; Fei Xu (PhD 2018 Mechanical Engineering), now a research and development engineer at Ansys Inc.; and Songzhe Xu (BS 2012 / PhD 2018 Mechanical Engineering), now a postdoc at the University of Utah, on a recent paper published in the international journal Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments.

Data from the Interlock House was used to deploy a fully coupled thermofluidic finite element approach to simulating natural ventilation in a sustainably designed building with complex geometry. The Interlock House was built by Iowa State University students in 2009 for the US DOE Solar Decathlon and Iowa NSF EPSCOR funding integrated a complex data acquisition system. The Interlock House uses building design for climate control instead of mechanical means (such as air conditioning). Therefore, accurately modeling the natural ventilation flows is crucial to assess thermal comfort in such designs.  The paper, “Computational study of natural ventilation in a sustainable building with complex geometry,” is freely available for the next 50 days.