Passive Cooling – SAITM Malabe



This educational Institution is located in Malabe on a sloping site, exposed to high breeze from the East and West due to vast paddy fields, demanded an economical design concept in keeping with a “Eco Friendly Green Campus”.

The Master Plan consisting of three stages included Campus block, Laboratories, Recreational Facilities.

A column grid placed on the slope, supported the 1.5 m x 6m pre cast R.C.C panels placed by a crane located in the center during construction. Exposed services and basic finishes such as cement floors allowed speedy construction, creating a modernist minimalist aesthetic.

The energy saving concept focuses on “ Passive cooling” wind moving from East & West through the Atrium, requiring air-conditioning only for I.T. department and the Auditorium. Rain water harvesting and recycling of waste water by bio degradable mechanism are integrated part of the Master Plan.

Finally the building was completed within one year, for both design and construction and at a considerably low cost of less than Rs.4,000.00. per sq.ft This iconic structure stands tall in the wilderness painted in a colour of the soil unearthed during construction.

Passive Cooling The term “passive” implies that energy-consuming mechanical components like pumps and fans are not used.

Passive cooling in building design attempts to integrate principles of physics “Thermodynamics & Aerodynamics” into the building s – network of – voids:

a. Slow heat transfer into a building. This involves an understanding of the mechanisms of heat transfer: heat conduction, convective heat transfer, and thermal radiation (primarily from the sun).

b. Remove unwanted heat from a building. In mild climates with cool dry nights this can be done with natural means of ventilation. In hot humid climates with uncomfortable warm / humid nights, ventilation is essential therefore, improvised Passive Cooling completed with some mechanical ventilation appears to be a win-win situation for user and the owner.

c. Introduction of fresh air by means of active and passive methods is essential to create a healthy atmosphere in wards and public areas and to avoid cross contamination in healthcare facilities.

d. Passive cooling is essential to avoid “Sick Building Syndrome” in healthcare facilities. This is a topic which we are engaged in designing and research.