MIT

Summary & Conclusions
   
   View the Summer 2000 Europe Travel Log or Summer 2000 Europe Trip Report or read this page and the following page for a brief summary.    
 

   Overall, most of the buildings attempted to shade from sun, although many did not put much effort into designing the external conditions surrounding the building. A good example of these is the Stadttor building in Dusseldorf, Germany, which uses a deep double skin fašade and shades to protect the office spaces from the sun, but the exterior conditions were not taken to as much detail, with both parking and a highway behind the building where the air intakes to the building can provide both noise and air pollution to the atrium spaces. Additionally, Pearson Educations building in Harlow Town, England was able to protect the workspaces with external shading, but gave noise from the train and automobile routes that are near both ends of the building.
   I found it interesting in many of the buildings that we visited, the public and entry spaces were often conditioned as much or more than the workspaces, to give a public appearance of increased comfort. One such case is in the newly built Aston building in Copenhagen Denmark, which used natural ventilation in the workspaces, but mechanical air movement in the entryway and conference rooms. Another interesting design feature that we found in many of the buildings is the shade either inside the building or between the panes of the window. This feature still allows the heat gain on the building and windows, and does not meet the need of a naturally ventilated building.
   Another aspect of the building design that many people do not consider is the difference between the top floor and the other floors. This was most evident in a hospital in Glasgow, Scotland and the European Patent Office in The Hague, the Netherlands. In both cases, air conditioning needed to be installed after the building was in operation. Additionally,

 

if the spaces were designed with better shading and increased thermal mass, the comfort issues could have been minimized, possibly eliminating the need to install air conditioning.
   The trip to Europe was valuable for many different reasons. First it was great to see the different buildings and technologies, while feeling the comfort of their spaces and understanding the reactions of the users. On top of this it was amazing to get the view of the building managers and designers, as they shared their pride and joy of their work with us. In all, our education has been enhanced from the experiences gained on our journey through Northern and Western Europe. I hope that you are able to gain from the insights that I am sharing with you here on this website.

   If you would like to read more about a specific building, please search by building location, type, age, or by natural ventilation detail on the left navigation bar. Otherwise, you can go back to the previous page or read the Trip Report.

                      Brian N. Dean bnd@mit.edu