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Archive for October, 2009

Phase 4 : Glendale A.D. 2100

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Can residential architecture serve to communicate knowledge?

Ranch Houses as Sundials

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Preliminary Site Plan

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

As discussed, a subdivision which functions to both harness the power of the sun and track its movements far into the future….

preliminary site plan

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Rain Water Catchment?

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Can we harness enough rain water to survive here in Arizona solely on it? This experiment explores the possibility within our project in Glendale. The “off-grid” subdivision is fast approaching.

rain water catchment diagram

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Ranch House as Solar Collector

October 27, 2009 2 comments

Upon building paper models of the parametric ranch homes warped by their relationship with the sun, Jason had pointed out how incredibly steep the roof planes appeared. This was a fortunate accident. Rather than modeling the roofs perpendicular to the sun (for solar power catchment), I had oriented the slope of the roof toward the sun. The result was a series of sun dials. Turns out that if one were to provide “fixed” solar panels to the roof, the optimum orientation would be 32.94 by averaging winter and solar angles. What if select homes were purposely included to chart the heavens while others to generate power for the subdivision. Below are two model homes which serve to supply power. These will repeat throughout the project. The power they could generate is stunning (if my math is correct).

solar power diagram

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The iconic chimney as a passive cooling system…

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Keeping with the reinterpretations of iconic forms, I am curious as to whether the chimney form can be repurposed as a passive cooling system. Two systems I am exploring: the ‘passive down-draft cooltower’ and the ‘solar chimney’ are presented below as passive cooling options to circulate air within each home without the use of fossil fuel driven HVAC systems.

A passive down-draft cool tower allows water to evaporate at the top of a tower, either by using evaporative cooling pads or by spraying water. Evaporation cools the incoming air, causing a downdraft of cool air that will bring down the temperature inside the building. Airflow can be increased by using a solar chimney on the opposite side of the building to help in venting hot air to the outside. This concept has been used for the Visitor Center of Zion National Park.

A solar chimney — often referred to as a thermal chimney — is a way of improving the natural ventilation of buildings by using convection of air heated by passive solar energy. A simple description of a solar chimney is that of a vertical shaft utilizing solar energy to enhance the natural stack ventilation through a building.

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Sun Angle Parametrics: The Tilted Roof

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment

As discussed, there are a variety of manners in which the path of the sun could be used to inform the design of the building massing. In the first configuration of 10 homes, each form is the same yet they are rotated according to the angle of the sun on the horizon. In the second scheme, each roof tilts with regard to the sun’s azimuth angle. Lastly, both the sun angle and azimuth are combined to warp the shape of each housing unit. The results are unique homes rooted in the movement of the sun on the Summer Solstice.

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The reinjection of agriculture to the ‘Burbs’

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Question: if one is to pursue a route of reintroducting agriculture as a means of subsistance within an intimate community, then where are the most viable locations for this to develop? This parallels closely with what Jackie is proposing concerning an agriculturally focused site program. I am exploring (through the use of general massing experiments) the idea of planting higher vegetation on the south, west, and east sides of the subdivision in order to cool the core. These diagrams are the preliminary outcomes of the study.

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