Case Studies – Glass Roofs

Yorkdale Mall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, MMC International

Orlando International Airport, Orlando, Florida, JPRA Architects



Novartis Pharmaceutical, Hanover, New Jersey, Gensler


Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, New York, Polshek Partnership

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Case Studies – Glass/Curtain Walls

R128, Stuttgart, Germany, WERNER SOBEK












































Entrance Hall University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany, WERNER SOBEK































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Proposed Schedule (subject to change)

I plan to go along this schedule (first draft) which details what I’ll get done and by when. However, I expect some things I didn’t expect to pop up occasionally either getting me ahead or falling behind schedule.

Wednesday, March 23 – Complete schedule

Friday, March 25 – Work on building + roof structure

Monday, March 28 – Work on building + roof structure [completed half-inch model]

Wednesday, March 30 – Refine floor plans + begin 3D computer model [completed sections]

Friday, April 1 – Begin 1/2″ model + work on 3D computer model (and prank somebody!) [began 1/4″ structural model]

Monday, April 4 – Work on 1/2″ model [completed 1/4″ structural model for the glass roof]

Wednesday, April 6 – 1/2″ model (finished)

Friday, April 8 – 3D computer model + perspectives

Monday, April 11 – Structural details

Wednesday, April 13 – Structural details

Friday, April 15 – Structural details

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Concrete Study – Photos Around Chicago

I took advantage of no Studio on Wednesday by going around looking at buildings with Brutalist architecture. Specifically, the Schmitt Academic Center of DePaul University, and the entire eastern campus of UIC.

What interested me most when taking these photos was how concrete relates not just with the structure but with the exterior of a building. For instance, the Schmitt Center (first photo directly below) gives the impression of being a sturdy building but still giving off a lightweight feeling. This is because of the appearance of so many lines that break up the exterior into squares/cubes(corners) and the holes punching through for windows/lights.













































































































































































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Midterm Review

From the Midterm Review the general comments were that my models spoke louder and clearer than my drawings. I was also advised not to feel confined by how rigid the grid I formed is.

From here I’m planning to start slightly altering the heights of floors and ceilings of specific ceilings. This is not just to break the rigid frame I’ve set up for myself, but to hopefully make going up and down between the kitchen/transaction and seating areas, that is, between where the public can go that is solid and where the public can go that is exposed.

Add an Image

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Working Diagrams (Adjacency, Concept + Program)

This gallery contains 26 photos.

From the beginning of our assignment to design a ski resort, I composed a number of diagrams. I started with looking specifically at the individual spaces and seeing how they interact with each other. From there I moved towards building … Continue reading

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Experiment – Thermal Properties of Concrete

Hypothesis: Clay added with concrete mix will hold more heat than sand mixed with concrete mix.

Purpose: The experiment was meant to help the learner understand which of the three types of concrete could best store heat. Of the possible choices were the sample of standard Quikrete mix, Quikrete mix and clay, or Quikrete mix and sand. The experiment was carried out by drilling holes into each sample, putting them in an oven at 200°F for a set amount of time, then taking out the samples and every five minutes recording the respective temperatures.


1.    Take three cups, fill up to ¾ with Quikrete mix

2.    Fill three separate cups of water up to 1/5 of the quantities of Quikrete mix

3.    Add the water to the Quikrete mix and stir until there are no chunks and the surface is smooth

4.    Allow for the sample to dry (preferably leave for 24 hrs)

5.    Drill holes into the center of each sample (1/4” deep)

6.    Set an oven for 200°F, then put the samples onto a tray and leave inside for 15 minutes

7.    After 15 minutes, take out the tray, record the temperature for each sample, and repeat every 5 minutes.

Results based on leaving the concrete samples in an oven at 200°F for 15 minutes

Hour Time (min.)

After Removal

Degree of material (°F)
Clay Sand Standard
9:30 p.m. 5 High* High High
  10 High High High
  15 101.7°F 100.9°F 101.3°F
9:45 p.m. 20 94.8°F 93.9°F 94°F
  25 Low** Low Low


Results based on leaving the concrete samples in an oven at 200°F for 20 minutes.

Hour Time (min.)

After Removal

Degree of material (°F)
Clay Sand Standard
10:40 p.m. 5 High High High
10:45 p.m. 10 High High High
  15 105.9°F 102.9°F 104.9°F
  20 98.2°F 95.3°F 97.1°F
11:00 p.m. 25 92.1°F 90.1°F 91.6°F
  30 Low Low Low

*Values too high to record with thermometer

**Values too low to record with thermometer

Conclusion: Based on the results of each trial, the concrete mix with clay added held the most heat over time compared to the other two samples. An explanation for this would be because of the specific heat capacities of the clay and sand added to the concrete mix. While sand has a specific heat capacity of 0.8 kJ/kg °K, which is close to the value of concrete, clay has a specific heat capacity of 0.92. Despite the sample with sand and concrete mix being a more dense material, the sample containing clay is a more suitable thermal mass because more heat energy was gained during the experiment. This is related to the formula Q = cmΔT, where Q is the heat add, c the specific heat capacity, m the mass of the material, and ΔT the change in temperature.

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Warming Hut Final Drawings + Photos

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Calculating for the Energy Heat Loss/Gain*

*Please note that the following formulas for calculating the general energy efficiency of buildings is referenced to Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings by Walter T. Grondzik.

**Maximum Overall Heat Loss Table

Load Collector Ratio Method

  1. Choose the location of the building site to pick the most appropriate passive system (Appendix H.1)
  2. Select a size for the solar openings (App. F.1)
  3. Calculate the “non-south” envelope heat loss rate, UAns, which excludes the solar openings but includes all other envelope losses, then multiply by 24 to obtain Btu/DD. BLC = 24 x UAns
  4. Check the building’s overall loss rate against the criteria from the attached table**. Btu/DD ft² = BLC/floor area (ft²)
  5. Determine the vertical project of the solar opening, Ap
  6. LCR = BLC/Ap
  7. Find the annual SSF that corresponds to the calculated LCR (App. H.3)
  8. Determine the approximate annual heating required Q = (1 – SSF) x BLC x DD

Calculating Gains through Roof and Walls

q = U x A x DETD

U = U-factors

A = Area of roof/walls (not total or together)

DETD = (design equivalent temperature difference) values listed in App. F.5

Calculating Gains through Glass

q = A x DCLF

DCLF = (design cooling load factor) values listed in App. F.6

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Trombe Wall Case Studies

The Solar House, Odeillo, France

Designed by Félix Trombe, 1967

A prototype of the solar house incorporating a trombe wall into its program, the concrete wall inside is 60 cm thick.


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