San Diego Children's Museum - California (USA)

Work Performed

Thermal simulation.

Outdoor airflow simulation.

Passive heating and cooling system design.

Relevant Details

The museum is designed as a naturally ventilated building with no mechanical heating or cooling.

The museum exhibition space consists of two galleries on the first and second floors and an atrium that extends over the two floors. There are openings on each floor and at the roof level and a solar chimney.

The assessment of the ventilation system consisted of an initial analysis of the stack-driven ventilation. It was found that using only stack-driven ventilation led to predictions of significant periods of overheating in the museum.

An analysis of the weather data then showed that there is a high correlation between the days of high temperature and a moderate prevailing wind - the sea breeze. Consequently, it was decided to use this wind to supplement the stack-driven flow. As a result additional openings were placed in the façade, and the solar chimney opening was oriented to be in suction during these periods.

Additionally, a building management system and a control strategy were developed to optimize the performance of the building. As a consequence of these measures the number of predicted hot hours decreased significantly, and the results suggest that the building will operate satisfactorily without any "mechanical" heating or cooling.

Project Data

Architecture: Rob Wellington Quigley