Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Part Three - Professional Experience - To Date

“Energy Efficient Architecture”

At the beginning of the programming phase of my architectural planning, I evaluate the suitable geometric form options to provide adequate visual contact with the environment and at the same time minimizing the area extent of the exterior envelope to minimize heat loss/gain. This exercise also controls/reduces first cost.

After a suitable form is determined, occupancy patterns are evaluated to determine the advantage of having heat storage features incorporated into the building. If possible, and it usually is, mass density can be used to reduce temperature change during unoccupied hours to reduce energy consumption. Note that this feature usually provides reduced demand loads as well.

Excess heat output from lighting and occupants become part of the energy supply to be stored. Gravity stack action in air movement needs to be incorporated into the ventilation if possible.

This comprehensive approach to design and conservation of energy is in addition to the code imposed criteria for conservation. In this mandated part of the process, serious attention needs to be given to the placement of insulation in exterior assemblies to take advantage of the thermal mass portion of the assembly and its access to the interior and/or exterior.

The conservation of energy must be a concerted design team effort and needs to include the owner to seriously evaluate all aspects of the design for its energy consequences during the life of the building. Energy consumed in the creation of the building is a secondary issue when compared to the long term energy impact over the life of the building. From a Planning and Site design perspective, the energy consequences of the building’s location, both in the community and with-in the site, are also important due to the long term energy consequences.

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