stories below highlight the immense power of the sun,
when its rays are concentrated and focussed inadvertently as a result
of the design/shape of the building.
These examples have been well-documented and they have gained
world-wide attention. Two are currently (Sep 2013) in the
Talkie and Museum
these problems have been avoided? Certainly! With
design of the building's shape and orientation, and proper
selection of exterior materials.
lighting fires with a magnifying glass, or cooking with a solar cooker!
Not what you want to do with a building - unless of course
find a way to capture and re-use the heat and energy.
Talkie, London, UK
Photo: By Diego Delso, CC BY-SA
building, currently (Sep 2013) under construction in London, England,
has had its fair share of publicity lately. And not all good!
It's been nick-named Walkie
Scorchie and Wok-ie Talkie.
37-storey glass tower has been accused of everything from melting car
parts on a Jaguar, to melting bicycle seats, to setting a door mat on
fire, to frying an egg, to setting a reporter's hair on fire
(apparently while he too was trying to fry an egg).
reason: The concave shape focusses the sun's
rays onto a small area - much like a magnifiying
glass or a parabolic solar cooker.
more here: http://dailym.ai/15AaVQr
Disney Concert Hall - Los Angeles, California
Photo: CC BY 1.0,
concert hall in LA had similar problems. No egg-frying but
enough of a problem to raise temperatures in nearby condos by 15
degrees F and forcing people to crank up their AC.
it was the shape of the building combined with certain sun angles.
And, of course, the glossy steel exterior didn't help.
solution involved sandblasting the offending
curved steel panels.
more here: http://usat.ly/17965NI
Hotel - Las Vegas, Nevada
Photo: By Cygnusloop99 - Own
work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
curved, glassy tower concentrated sun beams onto the hotel's pool deck
and actually burned people lounging and melted plastic drink cups and newspaper bags.
solution in this case involved covering the windows with a reflective
film. (Hopefully a dull reflective film.)
there's a name for this (no, not "death ray"), "solar convergence
more here: http://abcn.ws/15K5Vsh
Tower - Dallas, Texas
Tower Photo: By Joe Mabel, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Sculpture Centre Photo: By Photo: Andreas Praefcke - Own work (own
photograph), CC BY 3.0,
Museum Tower is a 42-storey condo tower currently (Sep 2013) under
construction in Dallas, Texas. It
neighbours the Nasher
Sculpture Center which houses a gallery that depends on specially
filtered sunlight, a feature that was painstakingly designed into the
building in 1993. Fast
forward to 2013.
glass walls of the tower reflect sunlight onto the glass roof of the
gallery during the afternoons. The result: the museum’s art gets fried.
a 2-year battle has resulted in City Council and the arts community
demanding solutions and one man losing his job.
are currently exploring options including re-designing the gallery’s
special glass roof and adding retractable shades to the tower. So far, neither side can
agree on the solution. Either
way, the local sentiment seems to be that the Museum Tower owes the
gallery the quality of light it so much depends on.
Sadly, the cost would likely be
borne by the City’s police and firefighters because the Museum Tower is
being developed by their pension fund.
more here: http://bloom.bg/1718wCP