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Re-appraising and rebuilding the environment in the House of Commons, 1913-1950

Schoenefeldt, Henrik (2019) Re-appraising and rebuilding the environment in the House of Commons, 1913-1950. ASHRAE journal, . ISSN 0001-2491. (In press) (KAR id:78578)

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Abstract

The House of Commons, destroyed during air raids in 1941, was rebuilt between 1944 and 1950, incorporating a sophisticated air conditioning system. This was portrayed as a radical departure from the nineteenth-century technology of its Victorian predecessor, but new research has revealed that its design was building on the findings of earlier investigations into improving the historic system, addressing questions thermal comfort and user experience. Its design followed concepts that were originally introduced by the physiologist Leonard Hill in 1914 and a series of design studies and experimental trials were undertaken in the 1920s and 1930s to develop a detailed scheme. This article explores the process by which occupants, scientists and engineers collaborated to empirically evaluate and improve the historic system, focusing on the period from 1913 until 1937, and how this had informed the design of the new system for the post-war debating chamber, which was developed between 1943 and 1950, also became subject of post-occupancy evaluation two years after its completion. This offers critical insights into practices in environmental design in the first half of the twentieth century.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: sustainability, Parliament, House of Commons, environment, World War 2
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Depositing User: Henrik Schoenefeldt
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2019 08:38 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2021 12:35 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/78578 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Schoenefeldt, Henrik: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1768-0255
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