Fredericksburg, VA

Case Study: Aikido Martial Arts Studio

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We were striving for the creation of an inside-outside space that connects to the wonderful qualities of the site. The inclusion of Big Ass Fans reduces the energy needed to condition the space while providing comfort to students and trainers alike. Jeff Owens, O2 Architects

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Problem

The art of Aikido is born from a connection to the earth. Considered a defense martial art rather than an attack-based sport, conserving energy is one of its core philosophies, and the environment in which it is taught is as important as the techniques being mastered. For owner/instructor Aviv Goldsmith, incorporating conservation-minded elements in the design of his LEED® Certified facility in Fredericksburg, Va., meant the inclusion of glass doors, abundant exposure to natural light, living shade plants and the installation of a 12-ft (3.7m) diameter, silent Element by Big Ass Fans® to complement the ventilation system. The main 3,700 sq. ft (343.7m²) mat room has a pitched ceiling reaching 22 ft (6.7m). Installed at the peak, Element works with or without the HVAC system to distribute air efficiently throughout the space, creating silent, non‐disruptive airflow to enhance occupant comfort year round.

Solution

Acoustics and comfort are paramount to the space, says architect Jeff Owens. “Aviv was worried that having something that made too much noise would interfere with his instruction.” Element’s direct-drive motor eliminates mechanical noise associated with gear-driven fans, and an unprecedented electronic system incorporates on-board controls that eliminate electrical noise. According to Owens, the plan was to be able to go several months into the cooling season without using the HVAC system at all, helping to reduce the facility’s reliance on high-cost energy usage. “We were striving for the creation of an inside-outside space that connects to the wonderful qualities of the site,” Owens said. “The inclusion of Big Ass Fans reduces the energy needed to condition the space while providing comfort to students and trainers alike.”

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