Integrated Environmental Design of Buildings
Historically, the concept of buildings as a means of protection against the more inimical natural elements, predators and the like has gradually given way, with social and cultural development, to increasingly sophisticated control and modification of the natural climate in the interests of more efficient and comfortable participation in more and more complex human activities. At any given time the degree of success has been related to the state of scientific and technological development. The former has made possible increasingly accurate specification of psychophysical conditions for optimum efficiency and comfort, the latter the means of achieving them with greater certainty. Though relationships between cause and effect are far from simple, theoretical knowledge has usually been in advance of applicable techniques, and fragmentation in the interests of deeper specialized knowledge (as in the medical sciences, for example) has tended to produce isolated techniques for the better achievement of specifications - whether visual (e.g., the glare indexes of the IES Code), thermal (e.g., Webb's work on effective temperature), or aural (e.g,, the Dutch work on the sound insulating properties of glass) --to accord with the individual criteria emerging from specialist studies in depth of each aspect. It is only recently that efforts have been made to bring together a number of environmental and building design factors. It is the intention of this paper to trace the brief but important history of these efforts in Great Britain and the effects they have had on building design.