Big Steps in Building: Get Rid Of Those Radiator Fins
Studio Gang are very talented architects, and have shown that they know how to design for energy efficiency. and their Aqua project certainly is interesting. However every one of those balconies on each of eighty floors of highrise condos is a giant radiator fin, constantly losing heat to the cold Chicago winters. It isn't too terrific for comfort, either as the floors are freezing near the window walls and condensation can form on the ceiling. Hairline cracks due to thermal stress are also likely to form.
There are a few systems around that can provide a thermal break for a concrete cantilevered balcony, mostly from Europe, but they are expensive, a couple of hundred bucks a foot. One can see from the construction photos that they are probably not being used here.
As an architect, I love the look of this building. As a TreeHugger, I wonder how in this day and age we can still be permitting continuous floor to ceiling glass walls and eighty stories of radiator fin balconies in a "green" but cold city like Chicago.
How will they heat this thing twenty years from now? ::Daily Dose of Architecture