Visualizing the Flow

by Mahadev Raman, Engr.; Ove Arup & Partners, New York, NY,
Burkhard Bein, Engr.; Ove Arup & Partners, New York, NY,
Colm Hogan, Engr.; Ove Arup & Partners, New York, NY,
Dennis Sheldon, Engr.; Ove Arup & Partners, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 6, Pg. 43-45

Document Type: Feature article


Digital modeling of passive cooling techniques now enables engineers to create comfortable environments in even the most unlikely of spaces�including glass atriums in the desert. Passive cooling techniques rely on naturally available energy sources or waste energy from nearby mechanical cooling systems. Ove Arup & Partners, New York is developing these passive climate control systems for the new U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Phoenix�in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Designed by architect Richard Meier & Partners, the $90 million, 500,000 sq ft building is organized around a six-story, 58,000 sq ft rectangular glass atrium. Glazed on the north and east sides and featuring a series of peaked skylights in the roof, the atrium is surrounded on the south and west sides by mechanically air-conditioned offices and courtrooms. Usually, the atrium will be lightly occupied, with about 100 people walking through the space or waiting to enter courtrooms at any given time. Construction is slated to begin late this year and the building should be completed by 2000.

Subject Headings: HVAC | Government buildings | Glass | Cooling (wastewater treatment) | Control systems | Buildings | Building design

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