Improving Building Enclosures Thermal Efficiency as a Goal of Energy Efficiency

Apr 12, 2010

Energy efficiency of buildings will continue to be a critical factor as the design community strives to pave a path toward a sustainable future. All too often project economics lead to value engineered building enclosure designs that are thermally inefficient or lack features that can improve their overall energy performance. In addition, the extensive stock of existing older buildings in the United States is mostly untouched and remains mostly energy inefficient.

Improving the thermal performance of these structures will become critical in reducing future energy use, achieving compliance with new energy standards and improving thermal comfort of the occupants. No matter what forces will drive energy efficient design, the authors are in agreement that improving the thermal efficiency of new and existing building enclosures will play a critical function in reducing the energy consumption of our buidlings.

The authors present two case studies that highlight critical aspects of building enclosure thermal performance and improvements for new and existing buidlings. The authors discuss how optimizing thermal performance at details and critical transitions can contribute to the improved energy efficiency of the building enclosure.

Paul E. Totten, PE (Simpson Gumpertz Heger Inc.)
Marcin Pazera, PhD (Simpson Gumpertz Heger Inc.)
Presented at: 
Building Enclosure Science & Technology (BEST2) Conference
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Simpson Gumpeterz Heger Inc.
Building Enclosure Technology & Environment Council (National Institute of Building Sciences)

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