Page B1.2 . 14 June 2000                     
ArchitectureWeek - Building Department

 

 
QUIZ

Building for "Harmony with Nature"

(continued)

The air distribution system, with supply at the floor and exhaust at the ceiling, works differently from a conventional ceiling supply and exhaust. A typical supply system mixes the entire room volume, maintaining air quality by diluting pollutants.

By contrast, the floor supply system does not rely on global mixing. Instead, each person receives air from a floor grille, with air quality achieved due to the proximity of the supply to the occupant. Pollutants rise on air currents to the ceiling exhaust. A significant proportion of convective heat gains from lights, equipment, and people are exhausted before they become a load on the ventilation system. Comfort temperatures are maintained in the occupied zone only, while temperatures near the ceiling are typically several degrees higher.

The pressurized floor plenum is very flexible. When cubicle or desk arrangements change, the tile with the supply grille can be moved. If cooling loads increase in a particular area, more floor grilles can be added there. The round floor grille comes with a twist damper that can be adjusted by the occupant to change the airflow into the space. Allowing occupants to tune their own work area can eliminate complaints from those not satisfied by average conditions.

The major orientation of the building to face north and south maximizes use of natural light. Light sensors at the perimeter dim the electric lights whenever daylight is sufficient. Shades on the south side block unwanted direct sunlight while reflecting light onto the ceiling of the interior.

This design lowers energy costs, and improves indoor air quality, and maximizes daylight. The owners expect that one outcome will be a more creative, motivated, and engaged workforce. Additional sustainability features include certified sources for all woods, recycled carpet yarns, and workstation fabrics.

 

ArchWeek Photo

Two large glassed atriums connect all three floors.
Photo: Paul Warchol

 

AW

ArchWeek Photo

A shared conference room is light and open.
Photo: Ove Arup & Partners

ArchWeek Photo

Each floor has a family-style hearth with casual furnishings.
Photo: Paul Warchol

ArchWeek Photo

On the south side, smaller windows with external shades limit solar gain but allow daylight penetration.
Photo: Ove Arup & Partners

ArchWeek Photo

The open work space is built over a raised floor for wire management and HVAC distribution.
Photo: Paul Warchol

 
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