The Commission is in the process of updating some of the content on this website in light of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. If the site contains content that does not yet reflect the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, it is unintentional and will be addressed.

Frederick Lanc hester Library Coventry, United Kingdom

Share this Post:

The Frederick Lanchester Library forms part of Coventry University. It has a gross floor area of 9 100 m² and is unusual in that, although it is a deep-plan building occupying a 50 m by 50 m footprint, it is ventilated naturally with no artificial cooling, except for a separate basement area which is air-conditioned. Figures 1 and 2 show the general layout of the building. By its nature the building has a large number of transient occupants. At the design stage 2 500 entries per day were anticipated. In practice, this has increased to 5 000. In addition a number of staff work permanently in the building. The building is open for use for approximately 4 000 hours per year.

Acronym of the case

AdVent 17

Author(s) information


M J Cook


De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.


B Painter


De Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

Lessons learnt

The building has generally performed well. There are a number of recommendations which might benefit the design of future buildings using the same principles. Areas which are occupied for longer periods of time could be co-located and access to other areas limited. This would enable night-time ventilation to be operated without affecting the comfort of night-time occupants. The performance in summer can be improved if air inlet dampers are closed down when the indoor dry-resultant temperature is below outdoor temperature. Carbon dioxide control can be used to override such closure if required. Consideration could be given to controlling the extent of opening of automatic vents on a seasonal basis. This would reduce the risk of over-ventilation in the winter, thereby reducing both energy consumption and the possibility of draughts. Experience has also shown that is important that facilities management staff are fully aware of the principles of the natural ventilation system and its controls.

Award labels

Additional documents

Available link languages