Various studies illustrate that higher levels of thermal comfort are experienced when occupants have a degree of control over their environment – through various window systems for example. Sealed buildings employ a “one size fits all” approach by maintaining constant temperatures irrespective of external conditions. When occupants are given the ability to alter their local environment, a greater level of satisfaction with the thermal environment can be achieved. Even when opting for an automatic natural ventilation system, occupants and carers can manually operate windows as they desire with a wall mounted switch or keypad installed in their room.
Automated windows can also reduce the burden on carers in aged care facilities. When an intelligent natural ventilation system is selected, it will have the ability to signal windows to close should inclement weather conditions develop. Parameters such as wind, changes in temperature and carbon dioxide levels can be monitored and then signal for automated windows to adjust their position accordingly.
An additional benefit of natural ventilation is that it can be effectively used to lower the concentration of carbon dioxide in communal areas, such as dining halls and meeting places. This creates a healthier and more inviting environment for the carers and residents, as well as reducing reliance on mechanical forms of ventilation to perform this task. Cooling or heating services are likely to be installed in buildings, however the goal is to reduce their energy use or how hard they work, not eradicate them.