Shelly Kappe introduces Sam Davis, noting his career in design and teaching, as well as some of his major projects.
Davis discusses some state office buildings in Sacramento, including both his design work and his analysis of their energy use. Davis examines the energy approaches taken by different architects for these buildings, discussing the large temperature swings that impact energy use throughout the day. He discusses combining the goal of improving the public spaces within the buildings with the goal of increasing energy efficiency. An urban study by SOM suggested walk-up buildings divided into quarter-block segments with mixed use programming.
Davis discusses the Department of Justice Office Building #1, outside of Sacramento. This building had more difficult requirements than other state office buildings. Since the main activity was processing criminal records, the transportation of documents and overall security was a major concern. The building was designed to operate as a village with internal streets and courtyards. The streets allow for increased day-lighting as well as pathways for release of hot air and the influx of cool air in the evenings.
Davis discusses a study he conducted on the the energy efficiency of California state office buildings. He used a system of lighting analysis developed at UC Berkeley for many of these projects. Davis discusses balancing the desire for natural light by users, with energy conservation and seismic concerns. He discusses the problem of automated shading for energy conservation, which is efficient, but disliked by occupants. He presents housing designs that incorporate energy efficiency and solar technologies. Davis expresses his interest in combining the technical needs of the project with his theoretical interests.
Davis presents a project under construction, discussing his efforts to avoid overheating while still providing major glazing to the building exterior. To deal with the high summer sun, he integrated an electric shading system to cover a greenhouse space which provides additional lighting and warmth during the winter months. Davis discusses projects at a much higher density. He describes the increased difficulty in providing energy efficiency and spatial diversity when shifting from low-rise to high-rise projects.