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Proposition: Many important things about architecture are in motion.
People: this activity generates what is called a circulation system of doors, hallways (corridors), stairs, elevators, and so on.
Air: without movement of air, breathing within buildings would become dangerous, instead of healthy. Traditionally, natural ventilation (or leakage) through windows provided fresh air. Increasingly in modern buildings, air is provided mechanically through ducts, and is conditioned as required.
Water: provided for drinking, cleaning, and for removal of wastes. So it enters the building through pipes, and leaves the building through a different set of pipes. The two sets of pipes can never come in contact with each other.
Heat: inside and outside air are separated by an enclosure system (envelope, skin, etc.) that has, to varying extents, the ability to conduct heat and transmit radiant energy, so heat is always moving from inside to outside, or from outside to inside, whenever there is a temperature difference.
Vapor: inside and outside air are separated by an enclosure system (envelope, skin, etc.) that has, to varying extents, the ability to limit the diffusion of water vapor, so vapor (moisture in a gaseous form) is always moving from inside to outside, or from outside to inside, whenever there is a vapor pressure difference.
Light: whether it originates from the outside or inside of a building, light bounces off (or is absorbed by) surfaces in various ways and to various degrees.
Sound: whether it originates from the outside or inside of a building, sound bounces off (or is absorbed by) surfaces in various ways and to various degrees, and is blocked by assemblies in various ways and to various degrees.
Fire: "Carbon-based materials… may enter into a state of rapid combustion. Fire is not something external to such materials, but rather an alternative state of being triggered by ignition and sustained by heat, in the presence of oxygen. Where carbon-based materials are used (ubiquitously in buildings), and where sources of ignition are plentiful (candles, matches, lightning, gas lamps or stoves, fire places and chimneys, boilers and furnaces, faulty electrical connections, and so on), it is not surprising that rooms, buildings, and entire sections of cities often burn." (Ochshorn, What Sustainability Sustains)
1. Urban conflagrations were common, devastating entire sections of cities.
2. Trend in fire safety strategy has been shift from limiting fire to:
1. life safety
2. protection of property
1. alert occupants (fire detecting devices, call boxes, alarms). Based on smoke or heat.
2. provide protected means of egress.
3. compartmentation: provide barriers to keep fire isolated. Concept shows up in numerous ways, at different scales:
4. ventilation: vent smoke, toxic gases.
Windows, skylights, mechanical equipment, roof hatches, etc.
Fire departments (note use of standpipes; fire-dept. connections outside of building; hydrants)
Aside from specialized non-water based systems, there are four variations on the theme:
Non-water-based fire suppressants (where damage to electronic equipment or paper records is unacceptable):
6. site planning issues:
But can real architecture catch on fire?
Disclaimer: Students are responsible for material presented in class, and required material described on course outline. These notes are provided as a tentative outline of material intended to be presented in lectures only; they may not cover all material, and they may contain information not actually presented. Notes may be updated each year, and may or may not apply to non-current versions of course.
first posted Aug. 29, 2007 | last updated: Sept. 8, 2014
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