Project: Phoenix Central Library
Phoenix Central Library:
|Teresa Burrelsman, University of Arizona,|
|Braam De Villiers, University of Arizona,|
|Felicity Lewis, University of Arizona, and|
|Peyush Agarwal, University of Arizona|
(Background) (Site Visits & Objectives) (Strategies & Results) (Conclusion)
This case study won second prize in the 1996 Vital Signs Student Case Study Competition. The authors of the case study are Teresa Burrelsman, Braam De Villiers, Felicity Lewis, and Peyush Agarwal, students in the College of Architecture at the University of Arizona. The field work was conducted during the fall of 1996. The faculty advisor for the study was Nader Chalfoun.
The south elevation of the Phoenix Central Library. Computer controlled louvers cover much of the south side of the building. (52K JPEG)
The Phoenix Central Library has received acclaim for both its architectural style and
its energy efficiency. Located in southern Arizona, it experiences the harsh climate of
the Sonoran Desert. It was our feeling that this building was designed as a
"box" in the desert and then a complex solar control system applied to it.
The north elevation of the Phoenix Central Library uses fixed "sails" as vertical sunscreens. (52K JPEG)
Our study concentrated on the conflict between the choice of elements for architectural effect and the solar requirements. The studys objectives were to evaluate the energy performance of the building, the effectiveness of the complicated energy strategies and the effect of solar radiation on internal load dominated buildings. Data collection consisted of site surveys conducted during two site visits. We gathered information on occupant use, electrical equipment and building materials, including on-site measurements. The envelope data was coded and then input into the energy simulation program, CalPas3.
After creating a reliable computer model, we investigated our questions about the building. We studied the possibility of replacing the active systems with simplified passive systems. The concepts modeled were fixed shading on the south facade, reduced solar gain through the roof and a two-zone strategy that combined evaporative cooling and conventional air conditioning.
We found that the fixed shading achieved results similar to those of the computer
controlled louvers. The skylights were a significant source of solar radiation, but could
be designed to minimize heat gain while optimizing daylighting effects. Lastly,
independent zoning of major functions can allow the use of evaporative cooling, a more
efficient cooling strategy than standard air conditioning. In internal load dominated
buildings, moderation of interior heat sources is the most critical issue. However,
especially in an extreme climate, the building envelope can play a significant part in
reducing energy consumption.
A Roadmap for this Report
The report is broken into five main sections.
The first section provides Background information that describes the setting of Phoenix, Arizona and the building.
The following section, Site Visits and Objectives, describes the work the authors undertook and the objectives of that work.
In Strategies and Results, findings are presented along with analyses of alternative design possibilities.
In the next section, Conclusions, the authors offer their impressions of the findings from the study and present some ideas for further investigation.
A list of References is also included.
To read this entire document, simply follow the "next" buttons at the bottom of each page. These will take you sequentially through the whole report.
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