Air Tubes

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Sustainable Feature Description

Air tubes refers to the practice of burying pipes or tubes under the ground that allow air to be pulled through from outside thus moderating the temperature. With the subsurface maintaining a relatively stable temperature air sourced though the tubes will be cooler than the ambient temperatures in summer and warmer than ambient in the Winter. A Slope ensures any moisture in the tubes is drained away. A Screen protected opening (outside) that is larger than the tube diameter will ensure animals and insects cant gain access. Vents will have screen and greats so larger animals can enter from inside the house. Other advantages

  • Air Tubes can also be used to provide Air to a slow combustion stove or heater so that less energy is consumed in the combustion process heating the air and more is able to be used for heating.
  • Air sourced from controlled Air stops lower pressures caused by rising air or combustion resulting in air intake through building gaps causing uncontrolled air intakes and drafts.
  • If Using a Solar Chimney this is a good source of incoming air.


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Online Information

Adapting to bushfires a new idea of-fire proof homes


please provide examples of using this feature Canberra Sustainable House Day - Open house Used Air Tubes 30m x 90mm and three tubes as the 90mm have a thinner wall and are less insulated. Given an insulated slab it is argued that the tubes under the slab were up to 10m away from ground that is warmed by the sun. Solar Flair Homes

Feature ideas

please provide any ideas for taking this feature further

  • Can moisture be captured?
  • Use a Heat exchanger to improve winter performance

The Habitat Project specific details

Design issues

  1. Current plans are to provide two or more air tubes which travel in a north South Direction underground from the Northern wall, sloped at an appropriate angle down and emerging on a slope some meters to the south of the building.
  2. The Tubes can be opened in the Warm Corridor such that this is the source of air prior to warming then convection flow into the living areas.
  3. Additional Vertical Tubes will allow the air tubes to supply air to the top floor while bypassing the Warm Corridor for cooling and to a slow combustion stove.


details of the actual application

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