A Methodology for Developing Sustainable, High Performance Building Envelopes

Apr 02, 2012

Firstly, I assert that using this methodology to transition a building, facility or community toward truly sustainable, high performance building envelopes, offers financial stability and huge financial rewards that cannot be matched by other methods.

Current building envelope systems and building mechanical systems rely on tweaking 100 year old concepts to make them high performance. Current design data and methods used by architects and engineers assume the weather conditions will not change for the duration of the building life cycle. Both of these premises are leading us down an unsustainable and poor performance path.

In order to build sustainable, high performance structures, we need to turn 180º in our planning and design development methods and apply building physics, architectural science and engineering principles to begin the process of moving toward truly sustainable, high performance buildings that will have a long and successful sustainable, high performance life cycle. This needs a science-based sustainability platform such as The Natural Step (TNS). We shall also be required to use detailed high performance requirements for occupant health, safety, comfort and performance; and predict probable or potential future weather activity for the next 100 to 300 years.

Grahame Maisey, PE (Building Services Consultants)
Presented at: 
Building Enclosure Science & Technology (BEST3) Conference
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Building Services Consultants
Building Enclosure Technology & Environment Council (National Institute of Building Sciences)

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