Mexican Office Tower without Air Conditioning

If one ever needed proof of the importance of design in dealing with our current crises, one might compare these two stories: In the village of Kuujjuaq on the Arctic Circle, 10 air conditioners were installed for 25 office workers. "These are the times when the far north has to have air conditioners now to function," said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, a leading campaigner for the rights of 155,000 Inuit in Canada, Alaska, Russia and Greenland."Our Arctic homes are made to be airtight for the cold and do not 'breathe' well in the heat with this warming trend," she said. (Independent) Meanwhile, in Guadalajara Mexico, which is a bit warmer than the Arctic, Catalan architect Carme Pinos has designed an office building that is supposed to keep cool without AC through careful shading, natural ventilation, fans and convection.

The triangular office floors are clad in a double skin: the floors were first wrapped in a glass facade [a great deal of which consists of operable windows], which is then masked by the horizontal wood slat paneling seen in the photographs. Workers can step out on to a grating system and push/pull these panels into their desired positions, providing control over the level of daylighting in their specific work space.

This ‘double skin’ provides enough natural ventilation that the building rarely [maybe never] needs air conditioning [remember, it’s in Guadalajara]. Natural ventilation [and lighting] is also utilize within the open central ‘atrium’ space, thanks to those large three storey porches/terraces described earlier in the article. This effectively slices the depth of the building in half, providing this natural lighting and ventilation of both sides of each of the three office triangles., thus providing cross-ventilation and probably a nice draft due to the stack effect in the central opening atrium. via ::myninjaplease


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