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I was watching a doc on the building of Changi Airport

(Singapore I think or possibly Malaysia which would make it Kuala Lumpur). It's been there since the 30's and they've recently built Terminal 3 which is a very interesting building, entirely suspended from the roof which is both flat and enormous. It discussed all the solutions to light management that we're going to need to employ to cope with excessive heat internally and externally. They wanted a building which brought the outdoor feeling indoors, so it was designed as a glass curtain-wall, and then as a reinforced, anti-explosive glass curtain-wall post 9/11.

The glass is laminated with an Infrared opaque film which doesn't let heat penetrate, and with small grey dots applied to the glass to prevent excessive light levels inside and thus the heating of structures within the Terminal by radiation. It's quite a fascinating building and approach to the problems.

The vents in the roof open and close via light sensors, in conjunction with the cooling system, looking in stop motion like a bunch of butterflies resting on top of the roof. The whole thing was quite neat.

This is of significant interest to me, because my apartment built about 1950 has fairly severe radiated and absorbed heat problems. My airconditioner has been running since May, and will be turned off probably in mid October. This suggests 5.5 months of AC and 6.5 months without. And this in the Great White North.

Apparently there is no insulation in the exterior of this building, plus single glazing, which means that it is a heat sink of enormous proportions. It's in the 60's outside, but I have to AC my bedroom to keep it at 75, the un AC ed Living Room is in the mid to high 80's, and this the 30th of September. Very annoying.

One of the points made in the doc is that our propensity for paving in black asphalt, creates another absorptive surface which helps create heat islands which become Heat Continents where Cities are concerned. At Changi Airport they are using some species of white paving material in order to reflect heat, again something we should be doing.

The recycling of clear glass as the aggregate for a paving material with a white binder, possibly from recycled white and clear plastic could be an excellent triple blow at man made local warming, and might make a difference to the global situation.


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