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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mixed-mode cooling.


However, the availability in the 1950s of large-scale mechanical cooling, along with other technologies such as curtain walls and fluorescent lighting, led to the more common building forms we see today in North America—typically all-glass, flush-skin buildings with large floor plates and no operable windows.

Our technological capabilities allow architects greater design freedom while they can relinquish responsibility for environmental control to the engineers, who use their ingenuity to design mechanical systems that will ensure (ideally) thermal comfort regardless of the loads that are imposed. In air-conditioned buildings, thermal conditions generally are perceived to be predictable and controllable, with the goal of maintaining consistent indoor thermal conditions uniformly across space and throughout the day, regardless of the outdoor climate.

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