Not matter how beautiful a building may look, if it’s inhabitable then it’s all waste. Especially because the main purpose of a building is to primarily be used by people! When it comes to building design, temperature control is arguably one of the most important parts of the design process, as without it, a building would lack a comfortable controlled inner climate.
So how do architects accommodate this requirement? With so many different building styles and designs, one solution will not encompass all structures. In this article, we’re taking a look at what measures architects take to regulate the internal temperature of a building.
Old school methods
In the past, the majority of our temperature control was restricted to how the building was designed. For example, deep overhangs and smaller windows could help reduce the amount of heat gained in a house’s interior. Of course, this wouldn’t work in every climate.
Another element of temperature regulation that’s commonly-seen in buildings comes from the simple exterior, if the exterior or roof of the building was painted white, this will allow the structure to reflect light and heat in warmer countries. Some sources suggest this could lower extreme temperatures by up to 2 or 3°C. Could this become more widespread if temperatures continue to rise globally?
Natural element was considered too, but it depended on the location of the structure. For example, a large tree close to a building would shade it in the summer and lose its leaves in the winter. But again, this wouldn’t work for all buildings, and certainly not for larger buildings and skyscrapers!
Today’s buildings and problems
Recent years have brought us a lot of tremendous structure being built across the globe. The bubble-wrap look of the Eden Project’s domes in the UK, the Giant Bookshelf façade of the Kansas City Public Library in the US The Crooked House in Poland spring to mind when thinking about such strange structures. It seems as if architects are trying to outdo each other when it comes to weird and wonderful modern buildings!
There are also many buildings who aren’t peculiar in their designed, yet all buildings alike share the same trait and that is the challenge of an adequate ventilation. According to Daikin, ventilation can pose a problem in many modern buildings as heightened environmental regulations require the use of elements such as double glazing and airtightness to help reduce the need for heating and cooling processes. This results in a building becoming poorly ventilated with no natural air flow through the structure.
This problem was addressed by M by Montcalm Shoreditch London Tech City hotel, who installed a central air conditioning unit feeding ducted fan coil units, with the return flow via bathroom vents for the guest rooms. In public areas, a number of Daikin Heat Reclaim Ventilation Units are used to provide fresh air, balance temperature, and maintain humidity levels.
Skyscrapers and tall orders
Of all the modern buildings, skyscrapers are understandably the most demanding when it comes to temperature regulations. central air conditioning unit feeding ducted fan coil units, with the return flow via bathroom vents for the guest rooms. In public areas, a number of Daikin Heat Reclaim Ventilation Units are used to provide fresh air, balance temperature, and maintain humidity levels.
Industry Tap comments that the general plan for dealing with structures is to picture the building being divided into zones, which are then divided further into stories. Each of these zones would then have its own system, which is responsible for controlling the temperature for just that section.
Controlling heatwaves and global warming
From recent years, it appears the world is getting warmer, judging from the prolonged heatwave conditions we’ve experienced in 2018 across the world, indicating to us how important a comfortable temperature really is. The UK saw temperatures hitting highs of 35°C, with the top temperature recorded in Heathrow on 27th July, and over in Japan, Kumagaya sweltered in 41°C temperatures on 16th July.
In order to continue to build around the need for temperature regulation, our architects need to adapt their designs to suit.
How will architects continue to design buildings if the world is indeed set to become warmer? Comfort will always be a priority, and as seen above, there are plenty of options being explored and developed upon, both old and new.