SSB Class Notes, Lectures 5-6

SSB, Lecture 5
Sep 9, 2010

Ken Yeang
Understanding of behavior or ecosystems and how they may translate into design principles

Newtonian Principles
Mechanical, machine-like clarity to underpinnings of the world
New systems of mapping and measuring

Florence in 15th and 16th century a vast new set of tools emerges
World could be understood and mapped as a system with a predictable set of behaviors.

If we start to see the world through a more complex lens that involves thermal properties, instead of the timeless model of the machine, our relationship to the sun changes; predictable cycles become extraordinary opportunities for another kind of engagement.

Building mass. Takes a 30 degree temperature and reduces it to about a 10 degree spread. A building attuned to trying to do that could likely do an even better job. Rather than importing energy, air conditioning it’s the mass of the building that makes the difference. That’s the realm of architecture.
Times of peaks / valleys in temp. If you can store temp for the times you need it, displace thermal energy over time, one of the basic things we do over time with architecture.

Islamic gardens: without enclosing space, used water to generate evaporate cooling, alter climate and stabilize temperature.

[SEXTANT: an instrument with a graduated arc of 60° and a sighting mechanism, used for measuring the angular distances between objects and esp. for taking altitudes in navigation.]

Sites, Systems and Buildings
September 9, 2010

Designing buildings as if they’re completely off the grid. If we’re going to interact with the climate system, must think within the layer of the atmosphere.

Atmosphere like the skin of an onion to an onion. Provides a true sense of its fragility.

Water has highest specific heat. Takes more energy to heat up or cool down water than any other common material.

Dew point: Temperature at which the moisture in the air condenses out of the air because the air has hit the limit of what it can hold.

Lots of moisture in air? Dew point high. Can’t cool it much without dew point coming out. West? Dew-point low. Chill it and chill it and still won’t hit level.

Dew-point line forms a boundary in the middle of the country. Tornado alley. Dryline. Some form of massive energy transfer, turns into tornadoes.

Major engine of climate variance. Moving heat from equator to poles. Major global heat transfer. Convoluted with presence of land masses. Less predictable in Northern Hemisphere (more land) than SH (less land).

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