Well…my last design journal can dated back to floor plan… So in this one, I would try to cover all the design path of my project.
In my first floor plan, the café was in the west part of the building, and one of the conference room was in the east part. But after the first live check in, I followed Glenn’s advice that my functional zoning should be clearer. So in my final floor plan, the café was moved to the southeast corner of the building, and both the two conference rooms are now in the west wing.
- Suspended Corridor
This is the suggestion from Glenn that I love most. In the initial design, if the visitors want to move to the auditorium from the class room, they have to go downstairs, cross the yard and then go upstairs again, which is quite inconvenient. What I have done is to add a U-shaped suspended corridor that extends the second floor into the center. For now, people have a much shorter path from west to east. Moreover, as the corridor goes in front of the large glass mass in the center of the exhibition part, it provides the visitors a great view of the whole building as well as the landscape in front of it.
- Slope Roof
In the first journal, I mentioned that I will use the slope roof to collect rain water and provide proper angle for solar panels. But now I have a new idea. Since natural ventilation and daylighting is quite popular in the energy efficient buildings, why can’t we make the room exposed to the outdoor environment directly? With such a concern, I removed the ceiling of the second floor, and made the roof operable. So if the outdoor weather condition is pretty good for natural ventilation, the roof can be opened to let in outdoor air, and get some daylight. When the outdoor environment gets tough, the roof will be closed and mechanical system will be turned on. Also, by left the roof over the building body, a greater visual impact can be achieved.
- Surface Material
The surface material is wood texture. Since the building is located in Stanford, it has to fit in the surround building style. Wood surface would add more classical visual effect to the building.
Energy Saving Strategies:
The picture below shows the light analysis of the two classrooms with operable roofs. Compared to the middle part where the operable roof is not installed, light is more evenly distributed, and only small part of areas would get direct solar beam.
- Water Floor
Thermal mass is widely used in “green buildings” to the solar energy during the daytime and avoid overheating. In my building, since I already have a large pond of water, I want it to be more than just landscape. In the reception areas, I used glass floor over a layer of gravels. In between, the water get pumped through to act as thermal mass. Then the water will be collected in front of the building to form another waterscape.
Solar shade are employed in different forms to avoid direct solar radiation.
- Solar Panel
Solar panels are install on the top of the roofs. Since the roofs are movable, the energy generation can be guaranteed by always having a proper angle. I did not do precise calculation of how much solar panels I need, but based on the energy analysis of Revit, the potential energy generation is larger than the energy in need, which means that the building can be net zero energy.
I tried to simulate the building’s energy performance. Although the energy in net zero in total, the Energy Utility Intensity (EUI) is 44 kBtu/sf/yr, which is unacceptable for an energy efficient building. I made a lot of attempt to reduce EUI, but no matter how large the R-value I used, the simulation result never change. The thing happens in lighting analysis. The “bug” is every likely due to my “tricky” roof. In the Revit model, the roof is in open status, which is quite confusing to the software. I got warned a couple of time that an effective roof is not existing. So after a series of adjustment, I personally believe that my building is quite energy efficient, or can be more efficient.
I did not spend a lot of time in structural design, because I seldom know anything about structural design. The design is only based on common sense…
The HVAC system is tricky in that I do not have ceiling in the second floor, and I do not want to have ducts blocking the light. After discussing with Glenn, I decided to supply the air from sidewall, and return the air in the areas that do not have operable roofs. Another difficulties of the design is to make proper connection within very limited space. I spent quite a lot of time in arranging duct path and the system is now twisted together. I have not got time for other mechanical systems…