Let’s open a few windows – 248 of them, to be exact

Scott Thompson photo
By Scott Thompson

Scott Thompson passed away December 12th, 2017 after a long fight with cancer. We remember him as a great mentor and good friend, who cared deeply about the people at Weber Thompson, and made sure that everyone who worked for him had their contributions and worth acknowledged and celebrated before his own. He is missed.

A Founding Principal at Weber Thompson, Scott Thompson retired at the end of 2015 with over 35 years of architectural and planning experience, specializing in high-density, urban infill and mixed-use buildings. He also worked on commercial structures, planned-unit developments, high-end condominiums, multifamily housing, hospitality projects, health clubs and custom single-family residences during his career.

Terry Thomas Architecture

The Terry Thomas design team has been waiting for this initial string of 80+ degrees days for almost four years. Thousands of hours of work has gone into the design and making of this building. How will the building perform? With 20+ of our team participating in Bike to Work Day, the pressure was on for a cool and comfortable destination. F3riday was the first test of the passive cooling system/design. King 5 cameras even knocked on our door to document the occasion.

Our mechanical engineers, Stantec Consulting, gave us a pretty good idea of how our system would handle the heat. Stantec’s extensive thermal modeling indicates that the inside air temperatures will be 75 to 80 degrees for 150 hours annually, 80 to 85 degrees for 50 hours annually and in excess of 85 degrees for 20 hours annually.

The building’s hydronic heating system (convection hot-water radiators on the perimeter) is still set on winter mode, at 68 degrees, and will remain on through mid-June. Because of this, leaving the windows open through the night to purge the warm air is not an option.

Stantec’s Tom Marsielle suggested that we open windows in the morning, either a little or a lot, as deemed necessary by occupants. Tom said the manually operable windows alone should create plenty of cross-ventilation, and then, maybe around noon when the temperature rises to the mid-70s, we could start shutting windows.

Tom was absolutely right. The building was cool and comfortable. A slight northerly breeze consistently moved air through the space most of the day and into the early evening. The interior temperatures peaked at around 75 degrees on Friday and 78 degrees on Saturday, without the exterior louvers operational.  The Saturday reading was with the windows closed, as few were in the office.

What about July and August? We say bring it on! We are ready even if “shorts and flip-flops” may be the fashion statement for a few days.

Credit for passing this first test goes to the entire Terry Thomas Building team. Congratulations to Elzbieta Zielinska, Steve Price, Gabe Hanson, Heidi Fahy, Jeff Dobbs, Kristen Scott, Mina Ghanaie and Peter Greaves.

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