Shifting the norm – towards effective mixed mode buildings

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
30th International PLEA Conference Sustainable Habitat For Developing Societies Choosing The Way Forward - Proceedings, 2014, Volume 1 pp. 440 - 447 (8)
Issue Date:
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A mixed mode of operation, where supplementary air-conditioning is used only when indoor conditions ride outside the acceptable comfort range, can reduce the carbon footprint of the building. The paper uses four post occupancy studies of mixed mode building, two each from Australia and India to investigate successes and pitfalls. All four buildings succeeded in integrating a mixed mode of operation at a tectonic level, but feedback from the occupants was varied. The study showed that occupants can be forgiving of minor discomforts when other positive attributes are included, but the risk to performance is intensified when occupants perceive very little adaptive opportunity or problems are not rectified quickly. It identified a tolerance of higher temperatures in the Indian mixed mode buildings in contrast to the Australian experience where narrow limits serve to further entrench an expectation for airconditioning and generate an energy impost. The findings of this paper question year round airconditioning and challenge designers to rethink spatial and environmental opportunities in the context of the changing workplace when shifting the norm towards effective mixed mode buildings
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