Measure Guideline: Passive Vents

Stacey Rothgeb, David Berger, Robin Neri, Stacey Rothgeb (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This document addresses the use of passive vents as a source of outdoor air in multifamily buildings. The challenges associated with implementing passive vents and the factors affecting performance are outlined. A comprehensive design methodology and quantified performance metrics are provided. Two hypothetical design examples are provided to illustrate the process. This document is intended to be useful to designers, decision-makers, and contractors implementing passive ventilation strategies. It is also intended to be a resource for those responsible for setting high-performance building program requirements, especially pertaining to ventilation and outdoor air. To ensure good indoor air quality, a dedicated source of outdoor air is an integral part of high-performance buildings. Presently, there is a lack of guidance pertaining to the design and installation of passive vents, resulting in poor system performance. This report details the criteria necessary for designing, constructing, and testing passive vent systems to enable them to provide consistent and reliable levels of ventilation air from outdoors.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings, Norwalk, Connecticut

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-65004

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102016-4768


  • airlets
  • consortium for advanced residential buildings
  • make-up air for apartments
  • multifamily
  • multifamily ventilation
  • passive vents
  • residential
  • residential buildings
  • Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
  • SWA
  • trickle vents
  • ventilation


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