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Cooling tower ... it's an idea borrowed from Southern California Victorians.

Cooling tower . . . it's an idea borrowed from Southern California Victorians Keeping cool was a major worry when Felice and Louis Shoemaker planned a house in Valley Center, part of the avocado belt north of San Diego known for summer temperatures over 100[degrees].

The Solana Beach firm Architura borrowed cooling ideas that can be seen in Victorians built over a century ago around Redlands, California. The Shoemaker house draws in cool air at its lowest point and vents warm air from its highest.

To create this chimney effect, the architects designed a split-level house with a well-ventilated central stair tower. They notched the lowest level--children's bedrooms--4 feet into the lot's gentle slope. The stairwell links these rooms with the midlevel entry and living areas, and with the master bedroom a half-flight higher. The tower soars higher still to ensure a good draft. When the Shoemakers open windows on lower levels and at the tower's peak, upslope breezes waft through the house, carrying out warm air.

The architects used 2-by-6 wall framing with R-19 insulation, and 2-by-0 roof rafters with R-30 insulation. Throughout the house, they specified wood-frame windows with dual-glazed low-E (low-emission) glass. The Shoemakers have needed auxiliary air conditioning only two to three days during summer.
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:May 1, 1991
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