The University of Washington Molecular Engineering and Sciences (UW MolES) building, located in Seattle, is a cutting-edge research facility housing laboratories and support spaces on multiple floors. In 2014, ZGF Architects was on the cutting edge of using phase change materials with installation of the technology on the first phase of this building.
In late 2016, Infinite R™ was specified and used to be installed in Phase 2 of the building as a remarkable improvement over the first generation phase change materials commonly used back in 2014. The result was a lower cost, with improved thermal absorption capacity and far greater flame spread characteristics over older PCM technologies.
In this phase, as total of 18,000sf of Infinite R™ was strategically installed in walls throughout the building to provide natural cooling and heating performance that compliments and already high performance building.
PCM installed in walls at occupant level to maximize comfort benefit as well as energy benefits.
Absorbs heat during hot days to mitigate use of air conditioning, while leveraging the innovative uses of natural ventilation cooling already in place.
Quantity of PCM
Walls & Floors
The graph shows a snapshot of performance of two modular classrooms tested side by side WITH and WITHOUT Infinite R™. When both classrooms are controlled the same, it’s easy to see that during setback mode overnight, the room with the phase change material does not drop anywhere near as significantly as the room without the PCM.
Again, similar comparison of identical modular classrooms during late June show that by running a short cycle of cooling very early in the morning (4am to 6am), the room with PCM’s stores mostly free ventilation cooling to help mitigate any need for cooling as the day progresses.
The result is a max temperature of around 73ºF in the PCM room and routine temps above 78ºF without PCM over the course of summer.