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Optimizing Windows to Improve Ventilation in Dhaka Slums

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Designing a Skylight
Designing a Skylight:  Laura Kwong and BRAC architecture student Raiyan Nasir
Native Skylights
Native Skylights
At rooftop level
On the roof: Saeed Munim, a local builder, and Laura Kwong
Opening Skylight
Opening Skylight
Selecting Ventilation Grilles
Stanford-icddr,b team and helpers
Stanford-icddr,b team and helpers:
Yunjae Hwang, Sajjad Rahman,
Laura Kwong, Raiyan Nasir


Installing floor-Level ventilation
Installing ground-level ventilation
Installing ventilation at ceiling level
Installing ceiling-level ventilation
Dhaka Ventilation
Jenna Forsyth, Sajjad Rahman, Peter Winch,
Fosiul Nizame, Nina Brooks
Dhaka Ventilation
Jenna Forsyth, Sajjad Rahman

Designing preferred windows to maximize household ventilation in urban slums in Dhaka, Bangladesh



1.  Collect baseline data on housing types and finalize window/vent prototypes.

2.  Measure the impact of improved ventilation on air exchange rates in Dhaka low income households and characterize the current and potential market for windows/vents in households in low-income neighborhoods of Dhaka, Bangladesh.

3.  Understand recipients’ (tenants and landlords) perceived benefits of installed window/vent designs and difficulties faced with adoption of each design.



Respiratory diseases are a leading cause of child death globally, killing approximately 1.3 million children per year. In Bangladesh alone, respiratory infections are responsible for approximately 22% of deaths in children under five years of age. Windows/vents may be a promising low-cost strategy for improving child health by increasing ventilation and reducing particulate and infectious matter in households in low-income urban communities, yet little is known about the ventilation improvements from windows/vents. It is unknown how much windows or vents improve ventilation and the value which tenants and/or landlords in Dhaka slums place on these ventilation measures.


Project Dates

November 2016 – March 2020


Stage of Work

So far, we have completed extensive formative research with landlord and tenants in two low-income communities, method development for measuring ventilation, designing ventilation structures, and computational fluid dynamic modeling of airflow given spatial features and temperature differentials.

Up next, in winter 2019-2020, we will collect endline household survey, qualitative, and spillover data.



Primary Contact:  Laura Kwong

Stanford University

.   Stephen Luby, PI

.   Lynn Hildemann

.   Catherine Gorle

.   Laura Kwong

.   Jenna Forsyth

.   Allie Sherris

.   Yunjae Hwang

International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B)

.   Fosiul Nizame

.   Saeed Munim

.   Abdullah Al Mamun

.   Sajjad Rahman

Johns Hopkins University

.    Peter Winch



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