Archive for November, 2011
This semester in studio, I have been designing a rehabilitation center for veterans along the Highline in New York City. The rehabilitation center offers apartments for veterans and their families to stay in while receiving both psychological and physical rehabilitation. During their stay, they will go through a process of healing and will want access to light and airy spaces when they are unable to go outside. I have created these spaces through the interconnections with the surrounding environment, including the Hudson River and the Highline.
The wind that crosses through the site comes primarily from the west off of the river. With an average speed of 6 mph, the winds provide a steady stream of cool air especially during the spring and summer. Throughout the building there are ribbon windows with louvered panels, which catch the wind and bring it into both the common areas and the rehabilitation spaces.
Light is also a very important component of my building. Most of the building’s exterior walls utilize a double-skin system. In this system, window walls are covered with sheets of perforated stainless-steel. These sheets still allow daylight to come through the windows and fill up the space, but prevent the sun’s heat from entering the building. It also has an “umbrella” effect during the winter, preventing heat from escaping the building.
One space I focused on in my building was the gym. It needs to have as much natural light as possible during the day. During the summer, the sun enters the space at a maximum angle of 75 degrees. During the winter, the sun enters the space at a minimum angle of 25 degrees. The double skin wall prevents this space from becoming too warm, but it still allows the residents of the building to have unobstructed views out to the Hudson River and the Highline.
Today in section, we started to discuss how we would integrate the systems we learned this semester into our studio projects. In Studio, I have been designing a rehabilitation center for war veterans adjacent to the High Line in New York City. One important aspect of my design is the incorporation of the High Line throughout the housing units and rehabilitation spaces. I have done this through a ribbon separating the two programs which continues throughout the building. This building will not only create view out to the High Line, but it will also allow air to circulate through the building through apertures. It is my intention that this ribbon of space will allow the inhabitants of the structure to be able to interact with the High Line, the harbor, as well as the rest of the city.
Recently, we have been learning about how heating and cooling systems effect architecture and how we can change these systems by harnessing the energy in our natural environment. Something that I have found particularly interesting is geothermal heating.
Geothermal heating is based on the principle that just below the surface of the earth, the ground is at a constant temperature which is warmer than the air in the winter, and cooler than the air in the summer. By placing a loop of pipe filled with water beneath the ground, you can use this energy to heat/cool the water which is brought into the heating/cooling system of the building. This allows the heating system to use less energy to heat the building by using the earth’s “free” energy.
Before looking into geothermal heating more in depth, I always thought it was a very complicated system and wasn’t very adaptable. Geothermal heating, however, is a really simply system and it surprises me that it isn’t used more often. When researching buildings which use this process, most projects are typical suburban homes.
Here is a video by SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry which describes how a geothermal system is installed in a home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70vCCZnb8H4
Steven Holl used geothermal heating in his project, Linked Hybrid in Beijing, China. Linked Hybrid is an mixed use complex with over 600 apartments, a hotel, schools, and retail space. The complex uses geothermal heating on an extremely large scale, and is one of the greenest residential projects in the world.
Curtain Wall System
When the New York Times Building opened in 2007, it was the first building of its kind in New York City. The New York Times company enlisted Renzo Piano Building Workshop and FXFOWLE Architects to design its headquarters as a structure that not only represented its philosophy to transparent and open to the world, but also environmentally responsible. In order to create this, the architects created a curtain wall with the first ceramic sunscreen in the United States. The ceramic tubes of the exterior framework absorb the sun’s heat and prevent it from entering the building. To optimize views, tubes are spaced to allow workers to have unobstructed views while both seated and standing. The ceramic structure also reflects the sunlight and changes colors throughout the day.
Complementing the curtain wall system is the lighting system within the building. Lighting normally accounts for 44% of an office buildings electrical consumption. The New York Times Building The building was designed to use daylight harvesting as the primary light for its offices. All of the lights are part of a system which can be dimmed and serve as a supplement to sunlight, rather than act on their own. The lights also respond to occupancy and changes in daylight. The window shades are programmed to move in response to the position of the sun and prevent glare in the office spaces. “Lutron Ecosystem [the manufacturer of the ballasts which operate the lighting] estimates that the lighting energy efficiency in the Time Company’s 600,000 square-foot office space will generate an annual savings of about $315,000. The environment benefits, too: About 1,250 metric tons of CO2 emissions will be prevented each year.” Overall, the daylighting system not only saves energy and money, it also creates a comfortable and productive work environment.
Here is video showing how the shades and lights respond to the sun throughout the day: http://windows.lbl.gov/comm_perf/nyt_roller-shades.html (click on one of the images to see the animation.)
Here is a video from Architectural Record’s website discussing the curtain wall design and the daylighting system with the New York Times’ Vice President David Thurm: http://archrecord.construction.com/features/0802nytimes/video/0802curtainwall_video.asp
UFAD System —diagram
The New York Times Building is the first high rise office building in New York City to use an underfloor air distribution (UFAD) System. Instead of pumping air down from the ceiling. Cool air rises naturally out of the floor and exits through the ceiling. The cooled air no longer has to be pumped at a high velocity, which creates a more comfortable environment. The delievery system, a swirl diffuser, is located near each desk, and can be controlled by the occupant to create a custom environment. The UFAD system can also create a healthier environment as germs are no longer spread throughout the space, but rise up to the ceiling. This system allows the building to be cooled almost 10 degrees warmer than a typical system. The cooling loads are already reduced because of the ceramic sunscreen reverting heat from the interior.
Adjacent to the New York Times Building is its own 1.4 Mega-Watt co-generation facility. This facility can provide energy for 40% of the building using 2 natural gas-fired reciprocating engines. Heat recovered from the engines is used to heat part of the building during the winter and to heat hot water from the absorption chiller to cool the building in the summer. The co-generation facility is 85% efficient and runs much cleaner that a utility generation system which it would use otherwise. The cogeneration facility also allows the New York Times to operate during a blackout uninterrupted, which is very important for a newspaper. The New York Times Building is one of the few buildings to operate with its own cogeneration facility in New York City.
Here is a video from Architectural Record’s website discussing the UFAD system and the cogeneration system with the New York Times’ Vice President David Thurm: http://archrecord.construction.com/features/0802nytimes/video/0802energy_video.asp
“Shedding Light on ENERGY” in Sustainable Facility by Michael Jouaneh
“The New York Times sign of the times” in Engineered Systems by Joanna Turpin
“SolarTrac System” brochure: http://www.mechoshade.com/SolarTrac/SolarTrac_Brochure.pdf
“The New York Times Building” in Architectural Record by Suzanne Stevens