The summer solar study (attached) shows the surfaces with the highest solar exposure. Solar panels will be placed on the roofs, specifically the southwest facing roof that gets a large amount of sun in both the summer and the winter. I plan to install Trombe walls on opaque walls facing the southeast where the winter sun is high and use them in the exhibits to show their effect on building heating.
All opaque walls are designed with concrete, a high thermal mass material to store heat during the day and release it at night. With the Bay Area’s large daily temperature fluctuations, using high thermal mass materials can reduce the building energy needs. In this case, cast-in-place concrete walls are recommended. The exterior cladding will be copper for architectural purposes, mimicking the copper from my inspiration post. An air space, waterproofing membrane, and insulation are all included in the exterior wall layers.
Central courtyard walls will be curtain walls, letting in indirect light entering the canyon between the buildings. Light fins and shelves will be further refined using the curtain wall systems. Shelves on windows along the exterior will allow light to bounce off of the sloped ceilings on the second floor, lighting the exhibit space and offices. An interesting feature is the transparent bridge between building wings. This area will be a demonstration space for the effects of daylighting.
The roof will overhang, acting as a sun shade for curtain walls on all sides of the building. The roof above the lobby will be a walk-out roof from both building wings, and around the corner of the west wing will be a green roof, allowing visitors to physically see and interact with the plantings. This area is shielded from westerly winds, giving an oasis from winter winds and a pleasant area to have outdoor meetings. Additionally, the buildings surrounding the courtyard shield it from winds.
The roof also slopes downward towards the outside, routing water into rain gardens surrounding the perimeter of the building. This water will be collected and reused for landscape irrigation. Every effort is made to ensure that the space stays open from one side to another, letting the wind ventilate the building from west to east.