THERMAL

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					Preliminary Assessment.
Below is a plan of the Apartment, showing the rooms relative to each other.

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I have done an initial Sun Study in order to gauge roughly what occurs in my space. I chose the March equinox as an arbitrary time. This study showed me approximately where the sun would land in the atrium, and allowed me to design my fenestration based on the simulation. Sun Study 1. Sun Study 2. By viewing the Sun Studies I decided that in order to allow light into the studio office is to place a strip window at the top of the room, where the sun is likely to strike. The entire north wall gets quite a large amount of sun, but this level may be too much for comfort. I did, however, place a small window in this wall for interest to the occupant. The Kitchen window takes advantage of the views, and will also allow a degree of morning light. The windows in the Kitchen and study are shown below.

I have done another two Sun Studies, to assess what the environment in the two spaces is likely to be, one at the summer solstice, and one at the winter solstice. This provides the two most extreme angles of sun possible, and therefore the most extreme daylight situations.

Summer Solstice. Winter Solstice. What the studies show is that the kitchen and Study areas are likely to be quite dim during winter. There is a marked increase in the light levels in summer, especially closer to evening. The preliminary Sun Study showed that only a small amount of light reaches the bedroom and bathroom of the apartment. I have put windows in the space, but these are mainly for visual stimulation, and will not greatly affect the amount of light in the spaces. Summer Solstice. Winter Solstice.

Thermal Analysis.
It is possible to control the thermal environment in the studio space by maximizing or limiting the amount of sun that enters the space. This is done most successfully by incorporating the structure of the building. The two main sources for heating the space are the temperature-controlled air of the main atrium, and the sun’s energy in the form of direct, and indirect daylight. Direct light will be utilised in the space, by constructing the floor slab of a heavyweight material. At present the floor is 300mm thick glulam, which would have good thermal capacity, concrete could also be used. By doing this the kitchen and study will remain warm throughout the day. This system, however, will not work as well in the bedroom area, as there is far less direct sunlight penetration at that level. For this reason, it will be necessary to provide a mechanical heating system for these two spaces.
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In order to minimise the amount of heat loss from the space, it is adviseable to use double glazing. Double glazing should not affect the amount of heat gain from direct sun, but it will minimise heat loss. Because of the lightweight construction of the building the internal environment adjusts rapidly to that of the external environment. It would be possible to construct the residence of massive materials, so that these temperature extremes are minimized, but consideration must also be given to the weight of the structure, and whether the support system is adequate to tolerate a heavier load.

It is inadvisable to use the thermal control from another area in the building to regulate the temperature in the studio, as the situation is probably quite different. Also, the windows can be a disturbance to the environmental control by providing solar heat. “Where large areas of glass are used they cause rapid fluctuations in temperature; widespread variations in thermal comfort can exist in shaded and exposed areas of the same internal space.”1 For this reason it may be necessary to install blinds in the upper section (the kitchen and study) in order to regulate the amount of heat gain. This is not as much of a problem in the bedroom and bathroom, as these areas are not exposed to as much direct light. Productivity can be hindered by high temperatures, this is of particular concern in the study, as the person using this space will need to concentrate. Installing blinds in this space will not be of much help, as the windows provided are mainly for light, and are not big enough to provide large amounts of heat. The best way to regulate the temperature in this space is to allow for air-flow, this is best done by opening the upper and lower windows in the space to the desired level.

Visual Analysis.
The visual environment is generally good, the lighting level seems even and constant. This is most important in the study, and it will be necessary to provide extra light in the form of task illumination, especially at night. During the day it is best to use sunlight, as it has good colour rendering properties, and it is for this reason that the strip window has been placed near the ceiling, which will reflect the light into the space, and give a good diffuse light. It is important that the light is diffuse, as this is less likely to induce glare, which can be debilitating. The situation shown below can be seen in the winter solstice simulation of the space, where light enters from a lower level, and will therefore strike the roof first.
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Artificial lighting will need to be used in the bedroom and bathroom, as the light levels are quite low.
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BBSC 231 Course Handbook. p157.

It is important to supply windows for psychological reasons as well, this is why the narrow window has been provided at a low level in the office. This allows the occupant to rest their eyes by focusing on a distant object. A good method for reducing glare as well as maximising the heat gain, is to install internal blinds. This allows the heat to be trapped in the space between the blinds and the glass, while shading from the occupant. It is also possible to design an external overhang shade system for the studio, but this would require further analysis, and is limited by its flexibility.


				
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posted:12/23/2009
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