Air Conditioning Companies Needing Help Sun City Florida – The mall, the office building, the suburbs, the museums, Hollywood, the Gulf cities, they were all powered by air conditioning. But is it time to turn it off?
Once when I was living in Houston, Texas, my host was showing me around his house. It included a huge fireplace.
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“How often does it get cold enough to start a fire?” I asked because the little I knew about the city included the fact that it was hot and humid most of the time. Maybe once or twice a year, she replied, but her husband was from Wisconsin. He liked the log. So they would turn on the air conditioner and light the fire.
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We have reached the point where a ski slope with “real” snow can be built in the Dubai Mall, and air-conditioned football stadiums can be designed for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
It was a TV-like climate assembled by the turn of a dial, the result of a century that began in 1902, when Willis Carrier at the Brooklyn Printing Company was simply asked to find a way to keep heat and humidity from warping paper. Sackett-Wilhelms. But thanks to air conditioning, it helped to develop changed buildings and the way they are used, more than any other invention; Its effects directed places and the forms of places. They were social, cultural and geopolitical.
A shopping center would be impossible without air conditioning, as well as an office building with deep floor plans and glass walls, as well as computer servers. The rise of Hollywood in the 1920s would have slowed if theaters had to close in hot weather, as they had in the past. Tract expansion in postwar suburban America was based on affordable home air conditioners. A modern museum such as Tate Modern or Moma requires a carefully controlled climate to protect artworks.
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Cities have sprung up in places where the climate would restrain them. In 1950, 28% of the US population lived in its sun belt, 40% in 2000. The total population of the Gulf cities rose from 500,000 to 20 million by 1950. Neither the rise of Singapore nor the exploding cities of China and India would be the same if they still relied on punk fans, shady balconies and afternoon naps.
Of course, there are other factors, such as the presence of oil reserves in both Houston and the Persian Gulf, but the easing of otherwise unbearable temperatures has radically changed the history of these cities. And so we’ve reached the point in the 21st century where a ski slope with “real” snow can be built in a shopping mall in Dubai, and air-conditioned football stadiums can be designed for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – cooling epics. that their USP was a reversal of their outrageous and hitherto unrealizable nature.
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With air conditioning comes a new kind of architecture where traditional hot climate devices such as balconies, cross ventilation or water pools that create layers and permeability between indoor and outdoor environments have given way to closed boxes. The Persian windmills or the fountains of the Alhambra or the modest house in the southern United States, where the living and kitchen areas are separated by a passage open to the wind, were all negotiations between the building and the environment. . Now it is about technological achievement.
Building services—their heating, cooling, and ventilation systems—absorbed a larger portion of their overall budget. The people who designed them, the service engineers, became influential if underrated officers in shaping cities. In the 1980s, buildings such as Richard Rogers’ Lloyds Building officially expressed waves and extracts that had been hidden until then. In the Die Hard films, they become a crucial setting for tension and action, as they are large enough to fit Bruce Willis’ body.
Air conditioning allows people to move from their homes to their cars to the mall or office, all with air conditioning. Photo by Alam
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However, air conditioning’s most striking architectural effect is in the social spaces it creates. In Houston, as in many South American cities, you can walk from your air-conditioned home to your air-conditioned garage, then drive your air-conditioned car to garages, malls, and workplaces that are also air-conditioned. In the city center, subways and bridges connect different buildings, so you can walk from one to another without being exposed to the outside environment. It is possible, even accepted, to spend whole days and weeks in controlled weather.
In the harsh climate of Doha, Qatar (or even Dubai, Shenzhen or Singapore), similar areas are repeated. Buildings that appear separate from the outside (for the few who choose to be outside) are connected on the inside, a hotel transformed into a shopping mall, a food court into a multiplex, with lobbies adorned with marble, carpet and wood paneling. I can’t decide if it’s internal or external. The hierarchies and distinctions of European cities—between buildings and streets, and degrees of public and private space—are circumvented and dissolved.
Architect Rem Koolhaas called this phenomenon “Junkspace”, “the result of the meeting of an escalator and an air conditioner, created in an incubator of rough rocks … always an interior, so vast that you rarely perceive the boundaries.” In the Gulf and China, as well as in much of the United States, the mall became the main gathering place because it was a zone where large numbers of people could spend a comfortable time while the streets were occupied by air-conditioned mechanical ally automobiles.
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Air conditioning is anti-social. It buys comfort for its owner at the cost of moving excess heat elsewhere
The result is a form of sensory deprivation that almost everyone today takes for granted, in which the active interaction of body and atmosphere is homogenized and rendered passive. Stimuli of smell, touch, sound and sight are almost exclusively the purview of mall management; “low purgatory,” as Koolhaas called it, “overripe and undernourished at once… such a sentence is eternally hot. bathroom with a million of your best friends.”
It also lacks what a European might imagine as a public space, basically accessible to everyone somewhere, open to activities that are not programmed and not necessarily retail. It has been found that climate-controlled grids in Houston, Jakarta or Dubai can serve not only to exclude heat and humidity, but also grids considered undesirable or insufficiently profitable. In such places there is a clear distinction, social and often racial, between those inside and outside the conditioned cocoon. The street becomes actively hostile, the effects of the weather are compounded by car traffic and indifference to the needs of pedestrians. Here are the people you don’t see in the malls: the blue-collar migrant workers in the Gulf, the homeless and the unfortunate in America.
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From an environmental point of view, air conditioning is anti-social. It gains its owner’s comfort at the cost of transferring excess heat elsewhere, to the surrounding streets and ultimately the planet’s atmosphere. Nighttime temperatures in Phoenix, Arizona are believed to rise a degree or more from heat radiated from air conditioning. This is arguably the perfect neoliberal technology based on division and displacement. According to one theory, air conditioning helped elect Ronald Reagan by attracting conservative-leaning retirees to southern states that favored him.
By pointing out the shortcomings of air conditioning, it’s easy to overlook its achievements, to ask what Life of Brian has done for us. One answer is to greatly reduce the loss of life due to excess heat. Another thing is the increase in productivity and economic activity in the hot regions of the world. Or better functioning hospitals and schools. Many of us will be grateful for his contributions to computing and cinema. Few people who have spent time in hot and humid climates will ever want the shelter of artificially cooled air.
The defense of air-conditioned cities is that they are more energy efficient than very cold cities like Minneapolis that need to be heated in the winter, and if the energy usage statistics look dire, that might as well be considered. The US, for example, spends more energy on air conditioning than all of Africa on everything else. Then it spends even more energy on hot water, which does not have the same rap.
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So the question is not whether to adapt the climate, but how. As early as the 1940s, the Egyptian architect Hassan Fathi demonstrated in his village of New Gourna near Luxor how to revive the traditional techniques of orientation, ventilation, screening and shading. His example is followed by many contemporary architects, Kunle of Nigeria
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