Thermodynamic Comfort

Thermodynamic Comfort


What goes up must come down. Instead of relying on a forced-air ventilation system at the De Anza College Media and Learning Center on the Foothill-De Anza Community College campus in Cupertino, California, the facility utilizes science, forces of nature and the heat generated by building occupants and electronics.

The buoyancy-driven air circulation system is one of the first to be used in the western U.S. and is one of only a handful in the world. It’s designed to ventilate more than 80 percent of the building without fan power and improve indoor air quality by supplying 100 percent outside air through six air changes hourly.

There are a number of compound angles in the shafts, changes in plane, and numerous pieces and parts that had to be installed just right – not just for the system to function properly, but because of access constraints as well. The result? Utilizing physics to lower maintenance and operating costs.


Foothill-De Anza Community College District


De Anza College Media and Learning Center