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VENTILATION OF BUILDINGS.
I do not claim to have discovered aaya thing new in the art of ventilation. All I have endeavored to do in the following pages is to lay down principles, which shall be applicable to almost every case where ventilation is required.
One object of the paper is to insist upon the great and increasing importance of the subject, and, if successful in this, I am satisfied that it will not have been read in vain.
Before proceeding further, I think it will be desirable to explain what I mean by the term “Ventilation.” Briefly, it is this,-a gradual, continuous and complete changing of the air contained in any structure, a substitution, in fact, of fresh air for foul, but 80 gradual a substitution that the motion of the air should be imperceptible.
Of course, in factories, imperceptibility need not be so much regarded, and in the cases of sewers.,and. underground railways, it is obvious that any method may be followed which. promises the most perfect results.
The importance of the subject under consideration, which can hardly be overestimatėd, has been the constant theme of writers on ventilation; thus, Dr. James Johnson, in a work called "A Diary of a Philosopher," says that all the deaths resulting from fevers are but as a drop in the ocean, when compared with the numbers who perish from bad air.
It is to the efforts of science that we must look for an alteration in so disastrous a state of things, and men of science may be assured that Society will ere long demand, not, as an eminent Philosopher is reported to have said, a new faith-we neither look for nor expect that—but a longer life, increased freedom from disease, and greater means of enjoying sound health while life lasts.
I believe, we cannot doubt that much of the apathy manifested towards our subject by people generally, results from the abortive experiments and useless methods so often tried, and resorted to for the purpose of supplying the want of ventilation.
Before I leave this part of my subject, I will mention one other difficulty in the way of ventilation, and this by no means a small one-I mean the cost.
Although efficient ventilation will not cost a very large sum per room, it cannot be denied that somewhat will be added to the expense of the house, and this “ somewhat” the speculative builder never will add until he finds intending tenants and purchasers refuse to take houses which are not properly ventilated.
As with houses, so with all other buildings and works; if we make up our minds to ventilate them, we must also resolve to
pay for it.
I fear that even persons who build houses for their own occupation, are but little in advance of the speculative builder, as far as any recognition of the absolute necessity of efficient ventilation is concerned. Many hold to such crude devices