Exterior view of 55 Ninth Street; Exterior view of 55 Ninth Street;

AVA 55 Ninth, San Francisco, CA

Our façade design helped minimise the potential for occupant discomfort

Located on 55 9th Street in the Mid-Market neighbourhood of San Francisco, California, this new high-rise residential building is a mix of studio, one-, and two-bedroom rentals open for occupancy as of March 2014. The design is a sleek tower of glass that appeals to a hip, urban crowd.

The owner, Avalon Bay Communities, had concerns over their potential occupant’s thermal discomfort caused by the narrow window layout. Arup helped address these concerns with thermal comfort and CFD studies. Bringing in our building physics experts, we advised the architect and client on an operable window design that would maximise natural ventilation and thermal comfort for all occupants. Coordinating closely with the architect, façade contractor, and mechanical engineer, we helped guide the design of the building envelope to optimise the performance of these operable windows. Arup’s timely responses and on-going open dialogue with the rest of the design team progressed the façade design significantly from its initial design, which would have caused discomfort almost 30% of the year. The final design solution minimises the potential for discomfort, bringing it down below 5% for the year.