Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ambience and Services

The ambience around and in buildings is the result of natural and of man-made causes: the climate, HVAC, lighting, etc. Whatever the nature of the cause, the responsibility falls squarely on the architect to reckon with it (Flynn et al., 1992). The extent and contents of the requirements concerning the ambience in buildings has grown ever more complex in recent times and embraces, for example, heat, moisture, mould, corrosion, water supply, energy control, fire, smoke, pure air and odour, natural and artificial illumination, sound, protection against lightning, vibration, security, electromagnetic radiation and various telecommunication services. Technical services cater for performance to satisfy the various requirements: HVAC equipment, water supply, telephone and telecommunications services, elevators, security and anti-fire equipment, etc. Each service may be and often is designed as a system and such systems increasingly are complex embracing two or more systems together with their interaction (Aspinall, 2001). For example, lighting may be combined with ventilation or may be incorporated in furniture. As a consequence, comprehensive environmental systems may be applied and the building as a whole may be considered as a comprehensive environmental system. When the architect designs a building, he/she must decide whether a new system or systems will be applied or whether existing systems will be incorporated in the design. Specialized firms develop their own (lighting, heating, etc.) system and system developers may develop complex systems to be applied by various designers (Flynn et al., 1992). Architects do not themselves design energy systems and services but have to be active partners with those who do design them since the dialogue must end up with comprehensive architectural-engineering solutions and the interrelation of services and structures results in specific aesthetic consequences.

Sebestyen, Gyula. 2003. New Architecture and Technology.

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