building revives traditional middle eastern designs

"The Carnegie Center for Global Ecology in Stanford is a research facility that combines Laboratories and office spaces. Like Many of the Climates of the Middle East, Stanford has an arid climate with a long dry summer season, and benefits from northwest breezes.The client’s main concerns were lowering the carbon emissions tied to the building’s energy use as well as the embodied carbon emissions of building materials."

I like this slightly ungainly building. It reinterprets the middle eastern katabatic cooling tower, which scoops prevailing winds and uses water to cool the air as it enters the building which, combined with radiant floor heating/cooling, cross ventilation, ceiling fans,  and natural lighting, has achieved a remarkable 96% approval rating in  a post occupancy evaluation survey, which apparently is some kind of record. 

Stanford wind tower

traditional middle eastern wind towers

It also won the AIA Award for Green Building. The laboratory spaces require complementary mechanical ventilation, which perfectly understandable given the specific demands of such spaces.

The roof is also cooled with water: sprinklers dowse the roof at sundown, and the hot roof sheds heat by evaporation to the night sky, which according to the building's engineers, obtains the same results as an AC cooling tower with 50% of the water consumption.

This building embodies the kind of approach that architects, designers and engineers should be embracing: low energy, user friendly and a reinterpretation of traditional environmental control techniques.

images courtesy of Carbourn

full building review

1 comment:

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