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Hooker Building Double Skin Glass Facade

Richard Levine was design and energy consultant for this building, providing the conceptual design for what even today ranks as one of the most energy efficient office buildings ever built. This was the first double skinned glass active façade used in an office building. Between the two curtain wall skins, computer-controlled insulated louvers maximized daylighting, minimized heat loss, and provided for passive and active solar heating as well as for ventilation. Twelve years later Norman Foster sent a team of architects and engineers to Niagara Falls to study Hooker and then did a project with a virtually identical system in Duisburg, Germany. Foster's building became the grandaddy of numerous energy conserving commercial buildings in Europe. As part of his consultancy, Levine presented schemes with three levels of performance to the clients who were trying to restore some part of their reputation after being shunned for their role in the Love Canal environmental disaster. Hooker ended up choosing the middle of the three schemes (The top scheme would have resulted in a net positive production of energy.) Progressive Architecture did two articles on Hooker. For the second article they commissioned a prominent energy engineer to assess Hooker's performance. He calculated that Hooker would use just 12% of the energy of a conventional office building in a similar climate. Even today, three decades later, few buildings can equal that level of performance.

AIA AwardARTICLE: Progressive Architecture, Issue 4:80, "Rainbow's End"

AIA AwardARTICLE: Progressive Architecture, Issue 4:83, "Glass Under Glass"

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