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Stanford Graduate Housing Studios 3 & 4

Stanford University sought to retrofit two of seven recently built four-story graduate dormitories (total project: 477,028 sf) that experienced overheating problems. L+U was commissioned to research possible remedies for the existing buildings and to suggest design changes for future campus housing. As designed, the building complex is cooled only by window ventilation, and the windows do not provide sufficient protection from excessive solar heat gain during overheated periods, such as a summer heat storm.

L+U monitored the performance of the buildings, installing sensors in typical rooms with varying orientations to record indoor temperatures and relative humidity, with a weather station placed on a nearby roof to record exterior conditions. The resulting data was used to develop computer simulation models to predict interior conditions with a variety of weather situations and architectural interventions.

Various remedies were modeled, including application of window film, exterior shades, air conditioning and/or automated night ventilation. Each possible solution was analyzed according to effectiveness, maintenance requirements, speed of implementation, cost, occupant interaction and energy use.


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Stanford University,
Palo Alto, CA

Study Completed, 2001

Retrofit shading devices increase comfort and lower energy costs.