After learning about different innovative ways to naturally ventilate buildings, I found this project at Tulane University very interesting.  Instead of designing a new building to replace their boxy, compartmentalized, and systems-deficient student union, they remodeled it to enhance natural ventilation and the use of sunlight within the building.  The most used student spaces, like the eating areas and study spaces, were put on the perimeter of the buildings interior space so as to maximize the natural light that could permeate these spaces.  Even the decorative water walls that appear throughout the building have a practical function.  Small screens above these walls swing back and forth, cooling the surrounding air with the water vapor created.

As quoted from (, “the three-story, 151,000-square-foot building incorporates eco-friendly passive heating and cooling, green walls, rain gardens and loads of natural light.”

Along with the renovated building systems, the architects of this project used the existing building structure rather than creating a new one, saving an enormous amount of energy that would have gone into its construction.