Passive radiative cooling to sub-ambient temperatures inside naturally ventilated buildings

Remy Fortin, Jyotirmoy Mandal, Aaswath P. Raman, Salmaan Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Daytime radiative cooling materials can help prevent overheating by keeping exterior roof surfaces cool, but can they passively reject heat from inside buildings, overcoming thermal gains from healthy air changes without mechanical assistance? Here we report how to produce sub-ambient interior temperatures by balancing terrestrial radiative cooling with temperature-driven ventilation and thermal mass. We present a field study with model enclosures replicating one occupant's heat balance and air changes. The reference box represents a “gold standard” in passive cooling, with thermal mass and night ventilation offsetting internal heat gains. The test box maintains an interior temperature of 3.9°C below the mean prevailing exterior temperature and 8.9°C below the gold standard, despite being actively heated from within and venting seven air changes per hour during the day. We also show with a calibrated model how to improve the cooling and ventilation performance while scaling the results to actual buildings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101570
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 20 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Energy
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • buoyancy ventilation
  • energy efficiency
  • natural ventilation
  • passive cooling
  • radiative cooling
  • sustainable building and architecture
  • thermal comfort


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