Natural ventilation design by computational fluid dynamics - A feng-shui approach

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-69
Journal / PublicationArchitectural Science Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2001


This paper suggests that Feng-shui, in some way, is a study of natural science. Most Chinese believe in Feng-shui to a certain extent although quite a large number of them are reluctant to admit it openly, afraid of being criticised of superstititous. The geometrical relationship between critical areas within a flat, say toilets, kitchens, and bedrooms has been considered as a very important element in the creation of good Feng-shui. It is believed that Feng-shui may have its own scientific origin and is not merely superstition. The most important element in Feng-shui is "Chi" - a kind of energy. In Chinese, "Chi" and "air" share the same character. Furthermore, many characteristics of Chiresemble that of air. Hence, although the meaning of "Chi" is very broad in classical Feng-shui sense, it may have something to do with the air and/or water flow within the flat, which is relatively easier to measure and simulate by computational fluid dynamics (CFD). In this paper, techniques in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) are employed to examine an important role in household Feng-shui. The theory of CFD and the calculation procedures are briefly introduced. An example of airflow simulation is described to show the airflow patterns inside a flat under different conditions and illustrate one very importnt rule of Feng-shui that the bed should not be placed next to the bathroom. Although the CFD simulation in this paper is based on an ideal and simplified case, it may help to explore a new research route to integrate natural science and classical Feng-shui study together.

Research Area(s)

  • Computational fluid dynamics, Feng-shui, Natural ventilation, Ventilation