A Qingok is a “stove pipe” that created a stack effect in traditional subterranean houses. This effect was possible because traditional houses were not well sealed and the Qingok created a negative pressure by allowing hot air to leave thus pulling fresh air in from outside through any cracks.
Regarding the Sustainable Northern Shelter house to be built in Anaktuvuk Pass, the house needed to be very well insulated and very air tight to ensure low energy use. Two options were considered sufficient in terms of performance and feasibility, a Heat Recovery Ventilator system and a traditional, passive-ventilation Qingok.
CCHRC decided to install and test a Qingok in a test module. The module was designed to test and demonstrate, building techniques and materials that were to be used in the Anaktuvuk Pass home. CCHRC teamed with GW Scientific to monitor the test module throughout a cycle of freezing and thawing. During this period the module was heated and humidified. Throughout this demonstration CCHRC monitored the Qingok for possible frost buildup, freezing, and amount of air exchange. Lacking natural leakiness, negative pressure was created in the tightly insulated test hut by supplying an air intake. Because this house was super insulated with nine inches of spray applied soy-based foam insulation, the Qingok was in turn well insulated. As a result, the warm, moist air from inside did not cool before exiting the house, thus no ice built up on the Qingok. Air was allowed to leave from the house freely.