The application of physics to the built environment, particularly with regard to the movement of heat, air, moisture, pollutants and light through buildings.

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What is “hydrostatic uplift pressure”?

I was reading Wikipedia about the St. Francis Dam and came across this sentence. Water that collected in the drainage pipes under the dam to relieve the hydrostatic uplift pressure was carried ...
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1answer
100 views

Vortex shedding

So I was reading about vortex shedding, and got to know that it causes the building to resonate. Is there any way to use this resonance to generate electricity (maybe use quartz?) I am trying to make ...
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5answers
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If I replace all my lights with LEDs will my heating costs increase?

A number of nations are passing bills to phase out incandescent light bulbs. The thinking is that the tungsten filament is an inefficient method of turning electricity into light, the rest of the ...
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2answers
12k views

Best method for building balsa-wood bridge [closed]

I'm building a bridge out of balsa-wood strips for school, and wanted some advice. These are the specifications: Height: 2 to 6 in Length: 12 inches, plus 1-3 inches on each side resting on tables ...
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3answers
440 views

Why is an air conditioner more efficient in a low-thermal-mass house?

Why is an air conditioner more efficient in a low-thermal-mass house? I recently read To get these efficiency gains it is important to use the air conditioner as it is intended: the unit has to ...
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2answers
214 views

Can sound be separated from air?

I would like to open up a window in my house, let the air in, but keep the sound out. Could a device be designed to put up on the window, like a screen, and accomplish this?
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Water flushed down, water pumped up (in buildings)

I live in a tall building (20 floors) on a mountain. Because the water pressure from the water company is not enough, there is a water pump at the last floor which is activated each time someone is ...
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3answers
896 views

Maximum efficiency for a counter-current heat exchanger (double flux controlled motorized ventilation)

I am not sure if I can explain the question correctly because I don't know the name of this mechanism in English. This is my explanation attempt: In a house, a tube is expelling the air from the ...
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2answers
218 views

Air velocity in a double-skin facade

I was wondering how the air flows in a double skin facade? Say I have a glass facade with a depth of 1m, a height of 200m and a width of 10m. It is a single vertical shaft all the way up with openings ...
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Should I heat my room when I'm not here, energy-efficiently speaking?

I was wondering as it's getting cold : is it better for my electricity bill to shut down completely my (electric) heater during day, and to turn it on again when I come home (then it will have to heat ...
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Which direction does air flow?

I remember learning this in high school, but have forgotten it, and can't seem to find it anywhere online. Air travels from areas of high pressure to low pressure...correct? So if I have a cold room ...
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Does opening the oven door heat the house more than if the door is closed?

In the winter I am in the habit of opening my oven door once I am done baking so that I can add the heat to the house. However I recently thought about it and it would seem that even if the door is ...
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What instrument will measure voids in a brick wall non-destructively?

Let's take what's ostensibly a solid brick wall. It looks solid from the front and the back. It's typically at least two widths of brick thick, plus some. What techniques could we use to ...
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3k views

Function of air conditioner

What i always thought that air conditioners blow the cool air without knowing that they actually take the warm air from indoor and from outdoor. But whats the point of taking air from indoor and ...
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2answers
272 views

What devices could be taken round dwellings to measure the thermal conductivities of buildings in situ?

Your lateral thinking and knowledge of lab kit could help us solve a tricky measuring problem in building-physics. One of the problems we get in modelling the heat demands of buildings, is getting an ...