Double Skin Facades - US Examples - Occidental Chemical

This is a series of listings of currently constructed double skin buildings in the North America. I'll make a separate post for each example as there is a good bit of information out there to highlight.

The Occidental Chemical Building - 1982
(also called the Hooker Chemical Building)
Niagara Falls, New York
Approx. 200,000 sf
Architect: Cannon Design

This was a nice idea. Floor to ceiling glass with views of an amazing natural wonder; Niagara Falls. Somewhat clunky in execution but still makes for an interesting visual presence.
Conceived in the midst of the oil crisis of the early 1980s, this landmark structure continues to maintain its place as one of the most energy efficient commercial buildings in the world.
-From Cannon Design's website
These kind of claims by the architect highlight the need for more research and follow up by designers. Yes this building was forward thinking and innovative, but was the solution elegant enough to withstand the test of time? 20 years is probably just barely the payback period for much of the added cost of the "innovation".

Energy Star Propoganda
-A description of what this building aspired to be. And a nice night image.

Terry Boake, U. Waterloo
Has some interesting follow up research and good photos of this building.

A Protocol to Determine the Performance of South Facing Double Glass Façade System-A Preliminary Study of Active/Passive Double Glass Façade Systems
A masters thesis by a Virginia Tech Student. Chapter 2 has a good section of the wall and more information on Double Skins. A pretty good primer for double skins.

Hope Springs Eternal - Trouble in Paradise

No longer the symbol of an energy efficient corporate headquarters, this was the state of things for the Occidental building in 2006. Now called One Niagara Center, the new owner has turned the building into a Falls welcome center. "Mrs. Ribs", "Punjabi Dhaba Restaurant", "Niagara Therapeutic Massage"; it seems the very attraction of the location has made it a local attraction.

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