John and Frances Angelos Law Center, Baltimore, MD, USA
The building unites classrooms, faculty offices, administrative space, and the law library under a single roof. A difficult urban situation required a smart composition of the program areas in order to provide daylight throughout the building and to allow for cross ventilation. The integrated climate concept responds to both varying programmatic requirements and Baltimore’s humid summer climate, moderate winter, and moderate intermediate seasons.
In order to prevent harsh lighting contrasts, the direct zenithal sunlight was reduced by installing a small skylight at the top of the atrium. Instead of using vertical daylight, the massing was developed in order to utilize horizontal daylight through the south and north facing facades. The floor sections, centered around the atrium, were optimized individually for maximum sky exposure and for softer horizontal light to travel deep into the floor plate. Daylight simulations were performed to fine tune and verify this approach and ensured the ongoing integration in the design.
The climate concept also includes a structurally integrated radiant cooling, which is combined with a minimal mechanical air system and provides cooling in the hot and humid summer months. Fully automated operable windows also allow for natural ventilation. The predicted energy performance of the building is 42 percent below ASHRAE 90.1-2004.