Summary of recommendations

• The temptation to opt for complex and 'heavy' engineering should be resisted in favour of 'gentle engineering' in which loads on the HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system are kept to a minimum by appropriate, climate sensitive, building design.

• The passive potential of buildings should be fully exploited with care taken to ensure that building form, controls, ventilation, blinds, windows etc. are all supportive of natural systems.

• Mixed mode ventilation and cooling systems with different services zoned according to use patterns and need are often the most suitable strategy. Where natural and mechanical systems are designed to work in a symbiotic relationship it is necessary to ensure that, in changeover conditions, the system does not default into concurrent operation of the mechanical and natural systems.

• Monitoring is essential to determine running costs and to identify critical failure paths before they lead to catastrophic failure.

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