Published by:
August 15, 2019

Passively Cool

As the fastest growing end-use in buildings, energy allotted for cooling has doubled since 2000, according to the International Energy Agency. Concurrently, codes and green building rating programs are pushing buildings to pare down their HVAC loads. As a result, architects are paying much more attention to non-mechanical design strategies for accomplishing just that.

So how? There are a number of strategies, many of them passive solutions: optimized building orientation; shading; cool and green roofs; natural ventilation—and even landscape design—can help bring cooling loads down. While cost savings and enhanced sustainability are the most transparent payoffs, these strategies are also boosting thermal comfort. “As peak loads are reduced, the mechanical systems will operate with less variability, leading to the presence of reduced or eliminated drafts within spaces since variable-air-volume (VAV) air distribution equipment will experience a tighter range of airflow as they operate from a minimum to a maximum amount throughout the year,” explains Scott M. Davis, P.E., LEED AP, BD+C, vice president and director of mechanical engineering, Bala Consulting Engineers, King of Prussia, Pa. “This will result in more efficient distribution systems and more comfortable spaces.”

Below you’ll find a few examples of solutions that can help manage cooling loads in your next project.

New & Noteworthy

Flex Your Façade

Frontside View 381 from Serge Ferrari—as shown here on the FBI regional headquarters car park in San Diego—allows for bio-climatic façades to be re-invented. The mesh membrane can re-invent façades in any color or transparency for new construction, renovation or reuse applications. The open mesh membrane comes in several colors and transparencies to create custom designed façades that help to balance solar heat gain with shading and natural ventilation.

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Made In The Shade

SolarTrac 4.0 merges predictive algorithms with real-time weather conditions. The software incorporates the sun’s precise position based on date, time, building GPS location and glass façade orientation—and calculates shadows and reflections from surrounding buildings—to automatically raise or lower window shades accordingly.

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Sawtooth Shading

The 55-story 181 Fremont high-rise features a distinct sawtooth patterned façade which dictates that window mullions in the curtainwall angle slightly in against one another, essentially functioning as a shading device. Vitro’s triple-silver-coated Solarban 70XL glass blocks 70% of the sun’s heat energy while enabling 65% of the ambient daylight to pass through.

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Managing Solar Heat Gain at NZP

Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute in City of Commerce, Calif. turned to a sophisticated solution to deal with solar heat gain—electrochromic glazing. Donated by SageGlass, the innovative glazing technology helps the facility manage solar heat gain on the east elevation while maximizing natural light without the need for any kind of manual or automated shading. The Lightzone glazing installed is also used in the main conference room which is extremely helpful in darkening the room for presentations.

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WashBar Provides Splash-Free Hand Washing

Bradley’s WashBar combines touch-free soap, faucet and dryer in one streamlined hand washing fixture that keeps water from splashing outside the basin. The WashBar is a single piece, multifunction, chrome plated fixture that intuitively guides hand washing with smart sensor technology. The WashBar’s dryer is engineered to work in tandem with the bowl to contain water and eliminate dripping or splashing on the floor, wall or user. In effect, the WashBar’s unique all-in-one design keeps washroom spaces cleaner, dryer, slip-free and safer.

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VT Industries Architectural Wood Doors -Durability

When you source a high-impact resistance door from VT, you can be confident it’s built to the highest of standards. Palladium Doors are constructed to withstand the most demanding environments including; healthcare, educational, hospitality, and other high-traffic facilities while maintaining an attractive decor. Available in more styles and finishes so you can find the perfect match for your facility. More durable. More Beautiful. There’s more to a VT door.

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New Downlight Collection Provides Tailored Solution

The all-new LED downlight collection from Williams provides a tailored solution for sleek and modern architectural lighting. With 2, 4, 6 and 8-inch apertures available in round, square, fixed, adjustable and shallow plenum styles, the downlights help create ambiance in every environment. Featuring a variety of trims and beam angles, each LED downlight guarantees flawless illumination. The innovative TrimLock reflection retention system ensures the trim remains flush with ceiling plane. Engineered with demanding environments in mind, Williams downlights are IP65 rated, CCEA Chicago Plenum approved and Energy Star certified, with industry-leading efficacies as high as 120 lumens/watts.

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PAC-CLAD Corrugated Curved Panels Create Sense of Motion

The award-winning Cade Museum for Creativity + Invention, with its cylindrical core and extending arcs, almost appears to be in motion—a sense of movement reinforced by the running lines of the structure’s corrugated metal wall panels. 11,400 sq. ft. of 22-gauge PAC-CLAD corrugated straight panels and 6,000 sq. ft. of PAC-CLAD corrugated curved panels were installed, all in a Galvalume Plus finish. For more information, please read the complete case study linked below.

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