Last November, Dave Banks (CPP Wind), Mitch Dec (Glumac), and I had the great opportunity to do a presentation at Greenbuild about atrium designs, energy efficiency, and smoke control systems. Particularly in the Northwest region, atrium spaces can offer great energy saving benefits by bringing daylight into the building core and offering a pathway for natural and passive ventilation. However, fire and life safety issues present a design challenge. Throughout the design of the Lewis Integrative Science Building (LISB) at the University of Oregon, we learned a lot about how to design these spaces – both to save energy and to provide a safe environment in the event of a fire. For buildings that have a true atrium space, effective smoke control is an important part of ensuring life safety. After all, if it isn’t safe, it isn’t sustainable.
Dave Banks was our consultant for the LISB project, and his modeling informed the design of our smoke control system. Take a look at the video CPP made, which is based on our Greenbuild presentation. This demonstration clearly shows some of the key issues that projects with atriums might face.