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Cracking the Code

The loss of human lives and the loss of property have driven the need for building codes and standards. Most people are well aware of this fact and would agree that these codes and standards are necessary to protect the public welfare. In simple terms, buildings must be safe to use and occupy; this includes being structurally sound, being constructed of the proper materials, having adequate means of egress in the event of an emergency, providing the proper heating, cooling and/or ventilation – just to name a few considerations. Codes and standards address all of these issues. Unfortunately, deciphering exactly... Read More

Microclimate – Bringing Biophilia to Child Care: The Child Care Center at Hort Woods

[The following is an excerpt from Volume 23 of The ReeSource, which was published in August of 2012. This volume was a special issue which focused on the innovative design features of the Child Care Center at Hort Woods – the first Penn State University building ever awarded a LEED Platinum Certification. An online version of this project feature is still viewable on the Penn State University Sustainability Institute’s website at www.sustainability.psu.edu/hortwoods.] From the beginning of the first design charettes, the Hort Woods were always viewed as central to the Child Care Center, as their use for outdoor play and... Read More

Integrated Design – Bringing Biophilia to Child Care: The Child Care Center at Hort Woods

[The following is an excerpt from Volume 23 of The ReeSource, which was published in August of 2012. This volume was a special issue which focused on the innovative design features of the Child Care Center at Hort Woods – the first Penn State University building ever awarded a LEED Platinum Certification. An online version of this project feature is still viewable on the Penn State University Sustainability Institute’s website at www.sustainability.psu.edu/hortwoods.] Before the twentieth century and the architectural engineer, the window was the only means of ventilation, cooling, and suitable lighting. Today’s architects and engineers are very good at... Read More

Hybrid Ventilation – Bringing Biophilia to Child Care: The Child Care Center at Hort Woods

[The following is an excerpt from Volume 23 of The ReeSource, which was published in August of 2012. This volume was a special issue which focused on the innovative design features of the Child Care Center at Hort Woods – the first Penn State University building ever awarded a LEED Platinum Certification. An online version of this project feature is still viewable on the Penn State University Sustainability Institute’s website at www.sustainability.psu.edu/hortwoods.] Without even accounting for microclimate, our energy model identified a potential reduction in annual cooling energy of nearly 45%. However, up to this point, potential was all we... Read More