There is such a thing as a house that allows you to live a comfortable and healthy life without having to open the windows.
Highly airtight, highly insulated and planned ventilation house, 365 days a year, 24 hours mechanical ventilation.
It is said that it is controlled without opening the windows and ventilating.
A window is the only place in the house where you can connect with nature. They provide a visual connection and the warmth of the sun through the opening. The sun pouring through the glass in winter is truly a gift from heaven. When it’s not too cold, open the windows as much as I can and I want to let my house take a deep breath.
Planned ventilation, no matter how cleverly it is set up by human hands and brains, is no match for natural ventilation. This is because the flow of air and the movement of wind in nature are beyond the capability of human beings to calculate at this stage. It’s almost impossible to control nature.
It would be possible to artificially control ventilation and the thermal environment if we could build buildings without any influence from nature. But unfortunately, this is impossible. Even if the influence of windows is blocked, the building will always be under pressure when the wind blows on the earth, and this will affect the indoor ventilation.
You don’t have to rely on machines for everything, if you feel the air is stagnated, open a window and ventilate. I think the sensors in my own body are much better.
We often hear that the natural air is dirty, that the air outside is dirtier, and that we have to rely on mechanical ventilation. However, “sick house” or “sick building” refers to buildings in the city center. These are high-rise buildings where windows cannot be opened, and the temperature and ventilation are artificially controlled. Many people complained of physical problems in these buildings. This was the beginning of chemical sensitivity. Just by looking at these facts, we cannot help but feel the limits of machine control.
Some people say that the machines are sure to ventilate the air, so they are safe. Is this really so? On its own, a machine will function as calculated. However, the situation changes when they are installed into a building. Even if the air is coming out of the exhaust vents with the power of a machine, it does not necessarily mean that the air in the entire room is being replaced. Even air conditioners and heaters always create temperature differences in the room. Even in ventilation, there will always be areas that are well ventilated and areas that are not well ventilated.
In fact, natural ventilation is the best. If the windows are placed so that there are no places in the living space where air cannot goes through, the room can be fully ventilated without the short-circuit air flow of mechanical ventilation.
However, no matter how many windows there are, they are meaningless if they do not open. Also, it is no use to have a layout that does not allow air to escape even if the windows are open.
Our biological rhythms are driven by the rhythms of nature. The sun rises and sets. It is only with this natural ticking of time that the flow of time of life exists. It is said that the human body learns pain from various stimuli. I think the same is true for the mind. I believe that sensitivity is nurtured through stimulation from human relationships and contact with the larger nature of the earth.
Every house and building has windows. It is the wish of every Japanese person to have as large an opening as possible. A sense of openness that allows you to see outside, and a fusion with nature. Some houses in environments where it is difficult to accept nature, such as those sandwiched between buildings, have skylights to look up at the sky, or have trees or small gardens that can be enjoyed through the windows.
The hot summer season and the cold winter season are unexpectedly short. I want our house to be a place where we can open the windows and enjoy the scent of the seasons and the breath of life brought by the natural breeze.
Reiko Wakabayashi (Deceased on Sep. 2008)
From the book “The Real House I Finally Found