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18 June 2010

Berlin - Day 13 & 14 - 2010-6-13,14

These next three images are the green retrofitting of the Reichstag by Norman Foster. My teacher, John Desalvo, was on the project. The dome houses a ventilation chimney that funnels hot air away from the building. The retrofitting did many things: added a ton of solar to the roofs, created new stairs within the old stairwells while at the same time not removing the scars from wars; fires; and graffiti from Russian soldiers, and most interestingly it has one of the most ingenious geothermal heating/cooling systems I've ever seen - the method of which I've never heard of previously but had dreamt up a while ago (damnit). The area surrounding the base of the Reichstag is limestone and a kind of, if I remember right, saline (salty) water solution. At one level way far down, like 100m, water is brought up and heated in the summer and sent back down. In the winter same thing but it is cooled and stored a bit higher - about 30m underground. Thus, in the summer the Reichstag can recapture that same cold water and use it to cool their building. Essentially they're using the ground and its water as a giant heat sink. It saves them something like 30-40% of their energy bill. As amazing as that is I have to wonder how feasible that is for just about any other building.

A bridge by Santiago Calitrava.

Fire station. The other end of the building mixed in more green colored glass. The idea was to retrofit an old building instead of tearing it down, so the facade was wrapped in this glass that covers and extends the boundaries of the buildings floor plate perimeter.

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