A lack of rigorous design methods and comprehensive performance data has slowed U.S. acceptance of natural ventilation technology, which proponents argue can increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings as well as improve indoor environmental conditions. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) new LoopDA 1.0 software program (for Loop Design and Analysis) helps fill this critical information gap.
The LoopDA simulation tool enables building designers and engineers to determine the size of natural ventilation openings needed to provide desired airflow rates. Previously, building designers have had to make decisions using trial and error or based on past experiences. Although LoopDA 1.0 provides “first-cut” estimates rather than final results, it is a great improvement over the former “more art than science” approach, according to NIST developer Stuart Dols.
As described at a recent technical conference in the Netherlands* LoopDA allows users of the computer program to sketch rooms and vertical sections of a building, the location of natural ventilation openings (e.g., windows, doors and ducts) and the paths the air should take through the building (i.e., pressure loops). The program then enables designers to determine the size of the natural ventilation openings needed to control indoor air quality and thermal comfort using an engineering-based design process.
John Blair | NIST
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Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
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Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
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At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
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Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
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