Originally Posted by choliks
Is it hot inside? Looks like a giant green house.
I never visited it, but apparently it does okay, in part because the window glass is reflective.
The Crystal Cathedral was designed after the energy crisis of 1973; a glass box in sunny southern California seeming to represent the height of ignorance toward nonrenewable energy resources even after those issues should have gained universal recognition. Quite the opposite is true. The Crystal Cathedral sanctuary was constructed and occupied without air conditioning or heating systems. The glass skin is uninsulated and the consequently large envelope heat transfer rate is increased by natural ventilation through motorized operable panes scattered across the facades and through the 90 foot tall door near the pulpit. Although the occupancy density is high, there is little plug and light load in the sanctuary, meaning that little heat is generated by
electrical equipment or lighting, especially since little lighting is required during a typical daytime service. Finally, the highly reflective glazing admits only 10% of the incident solar energy.
The resulting rate of heat loss across the enclosure in the mild Orange County, California climate roughly equals the rate of heat gain to the building from both occupants and solar energy during Sunday morning occupancy. The sanctuary space is comfortable throughout most of the year, with occasional cold January days being the exception. Since the completion of the building, spot heating has been added to provide thermal comfort on such cool winter days, but it still operates without summer cooling.
(published in 1997, so its possible things have changed)