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BUILD-116-MOI-2013-14 Introduction To Building Environments And Construction

ADAM T MIRZA!


CONTENTS Introduc)on………………………………….………………………………..………………………………..…………………………………..2 Air………………………………….………………………………..………………………………..………………………………………………….4   Light………………………………….………………………………..………………………………..……………………………………………...7   Materials………………………………….………………………………..………………………………..………………………………………12   Water………………………………….………………………………..………………………………..……………………………………………17   Energy………………………………….………………………………..………………………………..…………………………………………..20   Recycle………………………………….………………………………..………………………………..………………………………………….23   Conclusion………………………………….………………………………..………………………………..…………………………………….25   References………………………………….………………………………..………………………………..…………………………………….26    

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INTRODUCTION Peckham Library  is  a  2500m2  building  that  was  completed  and  opened   to  the  public  in  the  year  2000  with  a  construc)on  cost  of  £5  million,   aMer  being  commissioned  in  1995.  The  architect  behind  the  building  was   Will  Alsop,  who  was  also  involved  with  other  various  buildings  such  as   North  Greenwich  Tube  Sta)on  (1999)  and  the  Sharp  Centre  for  Design   (2004)  in  Canada.  Just  aMer  the  building  won  the  S)rling  Prize  (in  2000),   Birmingham  City  Council  were  inspired  and  just  two  weeks  later   revealed  their  plans  to  launch  an  architectural  compe))on  for  its  own   library.  The  library  was  created  to  add  to  the  regenera)on  of  Peckham,   and  it  was  meant  surprise  people  as  it  wasn’t  designed  as  a  conven)onal   library.   The  Library’s  closing  )me  on  weekdays  is  8pm,  whereas  on  the   weekends  5pm  and  4pm  for  Saturday  in  Sunday  (in  that  order).  There   are  also  various  ways  to  commute  there  including  16  different  buses   that  would  stop  nearby  the  loca)on.  The  original  idea  for  an  open  space   building  in  the  centre  of  Peckham  came  about  in  the  1990’s,  and  the   work  on  the  building  began  in   1998.  Also,  the  images  on  this   page  are  maps  showing  where   the  library  is,  as  well  as  a  map   showing  my  journey  there  along   with  some  sketches  I  did.  

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AIR Peckham Library  was  originally  built  with  no  air-­‐condi)oning  unit,  and  it  instead  relied  on  natural   ven)la)on.  However,  through  the  years  there  were  complaints  about  the  heat  within  the  library,  and   because  of  this  an  air-­‐condi)oning  system,  fiaed  in  a  2  metre  high  black  box,  was  added  to  solve  the   problem.   The  ways  the  building  used  to  be  naturally  ven)lated  was  mainly  through  the  way  the  building  created   shading  in  certain  areas.  The  most  no)ceable  is  actually  outside  the  library  itself,  as  the  building  is   shaped  in  a  way  that  would  create  an  area  that  would  be  a  shelter  from  the  cold  or  hot  weather,  and  the   tongue  shaped  addi)on  at  the  top  helps  with  this  too  by  somewhat  extending  the  area  it  will  cover.  This   was  done  in  the  aaempt  of  reducing  the  costs  of  maintaining  the  building,  and  I  believe  it  must’ve   worked,  however  I  s)ll  don’t  believe  the  building  is  as  efficient  as  it  could  be  overall.  

In the  main  part  of  the  library  there  aren’t  many  windows  that  can  be  opened,  however  there  are  s)ll   enough  windows  to  provide  ligh)ng  for  the  inside.  To  combat  the  lack  of  air  that  can  come  into  the   building  there  are  more  windows  placed  in  the  pod  sec)ons,  however  the  windows  are  at  a  high  level,   and  this  was  to  make  sure  that  nobody  aaempted  to  throw  any  books  out  of  the  window,  and  this  makes   sense  as  Peckham  at  the  )me  was  an  area  known  for  its  crimes.    

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The door  there  is  also  able  to  be  kept   open,  and  the  spiral  stairs  allow  for  the   air  to  move  around  freely.  However  I   believe  that  the  fact  that  the  pods  are   silent  reading  areas  and  although  those   areas  need  to  be  well  ven)lated,  the   areas  where  people  can  study  in  a   relaxed  environment  need  to  be  cool   areas  too,  as  if  it  is  stuffy  it  will  make   people  agitated  and  almost  force  them   to  leave  and  go  elsewhere.   As  a  building  itself  it  seems  to  be  beaer,  as  there   are  many  windows  running  along  the  side  near   the  staircase,  and  I  no)ced  that  there  were  gaps   in  between  floors  in  certain  areas,  and  that  makes   sure  that  the  air  is  constantly  moving  around  the   building.  The  staircase  itself  has  gaps  between   each  step  and  this  helps  with  the  ven)la)on  too,   as  well  as  being  aesthe)cally  pleasing  to  look  at.   Overall  I  feel  that  Peckham  Library  has  done  quite   a  good  job  with  its  passive  cooling  techniques,  and   it  has  also  developed  its  original  ideas  when  it  was   necessary,  and  therefore  it  is  successful  with  this   area  of  its  design.    

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LIGHT When I  visited  the  library  I  felt  that  it  was  par)cularly   well-­‐let  even  though  the  day  itself  wasn’t  the  brightest  or   sunniest.  However,  even  though  this  was  the  case,  there   were  s)ll  many  lights  that  were  being  used  inside  the   building,  and  some  were  faulty  as  well.  Ironically,  the   council  has  published  sugges)ons  to  reduce  the  costs  by   being  more  green,  yet  they  s)ll  seemed  to  waste  a  lot  of   energy  there.   There  is  a  lot  of  shaded  areas  within  the  building  too.  Just   on  the  outside  there  are  the  beams  supposedly   suppor)ng  the  structure  of  the  building,  and  this  creates   a  shelter  for  people  who  want  to  avoid  any  type  of   weather,  however  it  isn’t  completely  covered  from  all   edges.  The  front  area  of  the  building  itself  was  supposed   to  be  for  people  to  be  for  people  to  ‘hang  out’  and  stay,   however  from  what  I  saw  it  was  mostly  used  for  people   passing  through  either  to  or  from  the  nearby  high  street.  

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Light is  also  an  important  part  on  the  outside  of  the  building,  as  it  makes  it  clearer  as  to  what  it  is.   Personally  if  I  was  walking  at  night  near  the  library  and  it  had  all  of  the  inside  lights  on,  I  don’t  think  I   would’ve  been  able  to  differen)ate  between  this  building  and  others  as  it  wouldn’t  be  able  to  stand  out   as  much,  and  for  me  this  could  poten)ally  be  a  flaw  in  the  building.  However  according  to  a  blog   reviewing  sustainable  buildings,  the  flood  lights  themselves  cost  approximately  £4,800  a  year  in  energy   costs.  This  is  something  that  could’ve  perhaps  been  combated  had  there  been  more  windows  and  if   they  were  no)ceably  larger  too.  

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These are  some  calcula)ons  made  on  www.sunearthtools.com  that  show  the  sun  posi)on  in  correla)on  to   the  )me  of  day,  and  the  image  at  the  boaom-­‐right  is  the  same  thing  but  a  simpler  version.  

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This is  a  sketch  showing  the  shadows  at  around  1pm  on  a  clear  day.  

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MATERIALS The buildings  most  used  material  that  is  mainly  visible  from  the  outside  is  copper  cladding.  The  material   was  supplied  by  TECU,  which  is  a  German  manufacturing  company.  Copper  cladding  is  a  lightweight   material  that  is  also  very  durable,  as  the  library  proves.  The  material  is  also  100%  recyclable,  which  is   quite  interes)ng  to  me  as  although  in  one  way  this  way  the  building  is  environmentally  friendly,   perhaps  it  was  made  out  of  this  material  with  the  idea  in  mind  that  the  building  wouldn’t  be  successful,   however  this  is  just  a  theory  of  mine  and  it  could  be  completely  wrong.  I  also  found  out  that  the  solar   radia)on  is  strongest  along  the  east  and  west  facades  of  the  building,  which  could  be  why  the  north   facade  is  where  the  windows  are  mainly  based.  There  are  also  small  windows  at  the  front  and  side  of   the  building  to  provide  a  light  source  for  inside  without  much  heat  being  trapped  inside.  

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The north  facade  is  made  of  plain  and  fluorescent  glass  to  light  up  the  building  and  make  it  seem  alive  in  a   way  and  full  of  energy,  which  in  a  way  is  a  contradic)on  to  the  normal  conven)ons  to  a  library  which  is  seen   to  be  an  area  that  would  be  boring  and  not  fun  at  all  to  be  at.  There  are  several  different  colours  featured  on   the  glass  panels  covering  the  north  facade,  and  these  consist  of  green,  orange,  red,  blue,  black,  pink,  yellow,   and  the  transparent  windows  too.  Within  these  some  or  opaque  and  some  are  transparent.   Stainless  steel  mesh  panels  are  used  under  the  main  parts  of  the  building,  as  well  as  for  the  suppor)ng   columns  in  the  reading  room.  The  stairs  in  the  building  are  constructed  out  of  steel  as  well,  but  also  concrete   which  gives  it  an  older  look  in  my  opinion,  as  the  outside  of  the  building  does  the  opposite.  The  pods  also  look   a  bit  older  to  me,  but  at  the  same  )me  futuris)c  as  it  is  a  different  concept  and  one  you  wouldn’t  expect  to   see  in  a  reading  room  of  a  library.  The  material  used  to  create  the  pods  are  stained  and  polished  plywood,   and  that  completely  covers  it.   I  also  found  out  that  all  the  glass  and  copper  used  is  recyclable,  which  in  my  opinion  is  a  very  good  thing   considering  how  important  it  has  become  now  13  years  aMer  the  building  was  completed.   These  photos   are  from  the   ExCel  Centre  in   London,  and   the  structure   reminded  me   of  Peckham   Library’s   entrance,   although  this  is   much  smaller   and  a  different   material  was   used  too.  

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This diagram  is  highligh)ng  the  main  material  used  for  the  outside  of  the  building,  which  is  copper,  but   copper  cladding  to  be  more  specific,  and  this  material  was  provided  TECU.  

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These four  images  show  the  main  parts  of  the  library’s  materials  that  I  studied.  These  include  the  copper   exterior,  the  concrete  and  metal  staircase,  the  fluorescent  glass,  and  the  steel  mesh  rods.    

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WATER Peckham Library  seems  to  be  a  successful  building  in  terms  of  the  way  it  handles  rain  water.  The  main   thing  that  I  find  useful  is  the  front  part  of  the  building  as  it  can  be  used  as  a  shelter  for  people  to  escape   from  the  rain.  This  feature  is  something  that  can  aaract  people  into  the  building  as  it  is  a  public  property   that  anyone  can  enter,  and  there  is  a  controlled  environment  inside  so  it  is  ideal  for  when  the  weather  is   too  extreme.  However  Peckham  isn’t  an  area  that  suffers  from  random  changes  in  it’s  weather  paaern,   although  it  does  suffer  from  a  lot  of  constant  rain.  However,  with  global  warming  apparently  taking  its  toll,   rainfall  shouldn’t  be  as  major  of  a  problem,  especially  now  since  the  seven  hoaest  years  in  the  previous   100  have  all  happened  since  the  year  200  in  the  UK.  

These diagrams  are  ones  I  made  firstly  showing  the  rainfall  in  England,  and  another  diagram  showing  where   Peckham  is  on  the  map.  

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These diagrams  show  Peckham  Library  and  how  the  building  can  be  used  as  a  shelter  from  the  rain,  with   the  red  areas  showing  the  parts  that  would  stay  dry.  

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ENERGY In terms  of  energy  Peckham  Library  is  mixed,  as  in  some  ways  it  is  doing  a  good  job  conserving  energy,   but  it  also  wastes  a  lot  too.   There  was  originally  no  air-­‐condi)oning  unit  in  the  library,  but  later  there  were  a  few  black  boxes  added   that  would  cool  the  area  but  also  be  quite  subtle  in  terms  of  anyone  no)cing,  so  to  the  naked  eye  it   would  seem  as  if  the  building  was  s)ll  naturally  ven)lated.  However,  I  s)ll  see  this  as  quite  successful  in   how  they  saved  a  lot  of  energy  that  could  have  been  wasted  through  the  beginning  years,  and  the   credit  goes  to  Will  Alsop  here,  as  this  was  his  idea.     the  other  hand  there  is  the  ligh)ng,  and  that  is   On   an  area  that  makes  Peckham  Library  less  efficient.   The  lights  are  always  on,  and  this  is  the  case  even   when  there  is  a  lot  of  natural  ligh)ng  coming  in   from  the  outside.  This  leads  to  the  library’s  lights   cos)ng  around  £5,000  for  the  flood  lights  alone,   which  is  something  that  I  think  can  be  avoided.   One  thing  that  seems  to  be  becoming  a  more   important  thing  now  is  Wi-­‐Fi  and  how  efficient  that   is,  and  there  was  one  main  source,  but  I  feel  as  if   that  it  could’ve  been  a  bit  beaer,  but  I  imagine  the   reason  they  placed  the  router  in  the  place  that  it  was,  was  because  they  acknowledged  where  most   people  would  be  close  to,  but  this  is  a  theory  of  mine  that  isn’t  yet  supported.   Overall  I  believe  Will  Alsop  did  a  good  job  and  I  believe  that  low  energy  costs  was  in  his  mind  when  he   drew  up  the  plans,  hence  the  lack  of  air  condi)oning  for  such  a  long  period  of  )me.    

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This diagram  shows  the  main  wi-­‐fi  router  and  it’s  loca)on  on  the  plan  of  the  library.  

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RECYCLING In my  opinion  Peckham  Library  has  a  lot  of  ups  and  downs   with  recycling  and  the  energy  it  uses.  Firstly,  the  copper   cladding  and  the  glass  used  is  100%  recyclable,  and  that  is   a  very  helpful  thing  in  this  day  and  age.  However  where   the  building  is  at  fault  is  the  ligh)ng.  The  small  windows   throughout  allow  light  in  without  much  heat  loss,  and  the   north  facade  is  complete  with  windows,  even  though  it  is   not  all  transparent  as  there  are  some  opaque  ones,  but   these  windows  also  bring  in  light  and  and  can  add  a   certain  mood  into  the  rooms.  Even  with  all  this  there  were   many  lights  on  when  I  went  to  the  site,  and  this  was   during  a  reasonably  well-­‐lit  day  as  well.  The  floodlights   were  also  on,  and  this  was  the  case  for  many  of  my   colleagues  as  well,  and  I  have  read  that  the  cost  of  the   floodlights  is  almost  £5000  a  year.  A  solu)on  to  these   problem  would  be  to  have  larger  windows,  however  as   the  weather  in  the  UK  is  so  unpredictable,  I  think  it  is  fair   to  rely  on  ar)ficial  ligh)ng  in  a  place  that  needs  to  be   well-­‐lit.  Also,  quite  a  few  of  the  materials  were  imported   from  abroad,  so  even  as  the  building  was  being  created  it   wasn’t  as  environmentally  friendly  as  it  could  have  been,  however  at  the  )me  people  only  were  focused  on   the  look  and  purpose  of  the  building,  and  recycling  has  become  a  lot  more  important  in  this  day  and  age.    

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The fact  that  the  building  originally  didn’t  have  air-­‐condi)oning  and  instead  relied  on  natural  ven)la)on   is  a  posi)ve  in  how  green  the  building  is.  The  way  the  building  is  posi)oned,  there  are  quite  a  few   places  that  can  be  used  for  shade  too,  and  what  also  helps  is  the  tongue  shaped  addi)on  at  the  top  of   the  building.  However  since  the  air  condi)oning  was  added  I  believe  it  makes  it  worse  in  terms  of   recycling,  but  it  had  to  be  done  as  there  were  complaints  as  to  how  hot  and  stuffy  the  library  would   become  during  the  summer  periods.  However  I  think  that  the  library  is  s)ll  trying  to  stay  true  to  Will   Alsop’s  original  visions,  as  the  air  condi)oning  unit  is  very  discrete  and  it  is  quite  subtle  on  the  inside   and  not  obvious  that  it  is   actually  on.   In  terms  of  recycling  the   materials  within  the  library  it   doesn’t  do  a  very  good  job  as   there  are  no  recycling  bins   that  are  specifically  for  that.   Also,  the  mixed  recycling  bags   are  usually  collected  every   Saturday.   The  diagram  featured  on  the   leM  shows  where  the  recycling   bins  are  on  the  fourth  floor   (the  library),  and  I  added  a   radius  around  it  to  show  that   maybe  they  can  spread  them   out  a  bit  more  rather  than   having  them  so  close.  

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CONCLUSION Overall I  found  Peckham  Library  to  be  quite  a  successful  building  in  the  key  areas  I  explored.  Thinking   back  to  the  first  )me  I  went  there  with  no  knowledge  I  s)ll  remember  just  thinking  how  nice  the   building  looked,  and  how  it  was  a  different  building  near  a  high  street,  rather  than  an  odd-­‐shaped   building  alongside  many  others,  as  it  would  be  in  Central  London.  I  also  liked  the  fact  that  it  challenged   conven)ons  and  tried  to  make  a  library  more  interes)ng.   But  what  impressed  me  more  was  one  I  studied  the  building,  I  realised  how  cheap  it  actually  was  to   make  in  comparison  to  other  buildings  like  this  with  a  similar  scale.  I  also  liked  the  windows,  which  to   me  is  the  main  part,  because  in  my  opinion  they  can  change  the  rooms’  atmospheres.  However,  the  let   down  there  is  the  fact  that  the  natural  ligh)ng  is  being   used  too  much,  but  this  balances  out  with  the  original   natural  ven)la)on,  which  I  was  quite  fond  of,  as  I  wasn’t   really  used  to  having  buildings  that  are  so  important  to   the  area  its  in  have  no  air-­‐condi)oning  for  so  long,  and   even  then  it  was  s)ll  impressive.   In  terms  of  ra)ng  I  would  give  the  building    a  7  out  of  10   for  air,  a  5  out  of10  for  light,  an  8  out  of  10  for  earth/ materials,  a  7  out  of  10  for  water,  a  6  out  of  10  for   energy,  and  a  7  out  of  10  for  recycling.  So  in  conclusion  I   would  rate  the  building  a  40  out  of  60  based  on  the  parts   that  I  have  studied,  and  I  s)ll  do  believe  it  is  a  great   building,  but  there  is  always  room  for  improvement.    

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REFERENCES •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • 

www.sciencemuseum.org.uk www.bonfirehealth.com   www.e).co.uk   www.theguardian.com   www.telegraph.co.uk   www.metoffice.gov.uk   www.bbc.co.uk   www.youtube.com   www.architectsjournal.co.uk   www.peckham2.tumblr.com   www.bcf.usc.edu   www.magpie-­‐moth.blogspot.co.uk   www.cultureandsportsplanningtoolkit.org.uk   www.peckhamlibrarygroup2.blogspot.co.uk   www.upload.wikimedia.org   www.thenbs.com   www.sunearthtools.com  


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