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Accentuating the Positive Through Climate Responsive Design
The third session of the 2030 Professional Series focused on accentuating the positive through climate responsive design.
The conventional modern building design approach presumes that a building's energy will be imported in the form of electricity and fuel, so in this session we explored using climate data, site characteristics and other tools to conduct a simulated building energy load. Kirksey Architecture began with an overview on climate and thermal comfort. A big round of applause goes to the group from Houston who researched and presented specifically on the climate of Dallas!
Julie Hendricks, Colley Hodges and Kapil Upadhyaya from Kirksey Architecture gave a little history on vernacular designs and how building shape, orientation and size can help improve your passive design strategies. There are six factors that effect our thermal comfort: Humidity, Air Temperature, Clothing, Metabolic Rate, Radiant Temperature, and Air Speed. Each of these items determine if we are comfortable in a space and we need to consider the type of space we are designing to.
Ravi Maniktala and Pete Jefferson from ME Group discussed how, in Dallas, we really need to create dynamic facades. We want to let the light in, but keep the summer heat out. If we as designers want to create a space using passive solar radiation, then we really need to understand where we put those areas. This is because once direct light or glare become an issue, then the user will put the blinds down and you will have lost your passive solar gain. Ravi noted that when the sun hits a window, it allow 5 times the amount of heat in than a window that doesn't have direct sun hitting it. There are 3 types of mixed mode ventilation for a building which can help in reduced energy and a greater comfort range. The first is the change over, where the system will automatically change from natural ventilation to mechanical. The second is concurrent, which could be radiant cooling with the windows open. This one was the biggest surprise to me, since I wasn't thinking past the traditional forced air cooling. The third is zoned ventilation, which is varied based on use in different zones of the building.
Both Kirksey Architecture and ME Group did an excellent job giving us the tools to understand the climate and the area that we are building in. In the process of designing a building, these factors have a huge impact on how your building performs. If you haven't used Climate Consultant, you should download the free program and learn a little more about your climate and the impact of your surroundings! Check it out here.