UVA Bookstore: Thermal Readings


1. The most extreme interior heat in the diagram shown (September 25, 5:33 PM, ambient outdoor temperature: 92.1°F) was detected on the gypsum board receiving direct sunlight beneath the monitor windows (107.0°). The hottest outdoor material was the concrete strip (93.5°) bridging the brick of the courtyard and the brick of the entryway  (this is possibly a result of concrete’s high thermal mass and albedo (surface reflectivity of the sun’s radiation)).

2. The coolest interior temperature was found on the slate tiled ground (84.5°). The coolest outdoor temperature was found on the stucco soffit and the glass pane of the vestibule doors (87.0°).

3. Temperature readings taken on a cool, rainy evening (September 26, 9:53 PM, ambient outdoor temperature: 66.2°; not shown) bring into relief the thermal properties of the materials observed. The average material temperature drop (19.75°) is notably less than the drop in temperature (25.9°), suggesting the relative thermal mass of the aggregate building materials, even in the rain. The greatest temperature discrepancy was found in the courtyard brick (25.5°), the smallest in the wood door (17.0°)


1. Why is the wall interior to the corner column insulated? Was exterior space outside the vestibule was once part of the interior?

2. Is the vestibule doing its job if, as in the diagram, it is merely 1.5 ℉ cooler than the ambient outdoor temperature?

3. How might the climatic characteristics of the vestibule change if the monitor windows were operable?

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