Design Strategies

The Building Solutions section offers an insight into the know-hows of green design. Design strategies or high efficient equipment featured in the case study section are discussed in details here.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems help keep building occupants comfortable. H…

“Aperture” refers to any daylight source, including windows, skylights, openings, and any other tran…

Understanding heat transfer fundamentals and how they translate into energy flows in a building is c…

Energy loads are how much energy your building needs. These demands can be provided by electricity,…

Humans first created shelters to provide thermal comfort and protection from natural elements, and t…

“Massing” is deciding on the overall shape and size of the building.  Will the building be tall or s…

Orientation is simply what compass direction the building faces.  Does it face directly south?  80°…

A building’s program scopes the project by outlining its goals, conditions, and objectives. The prog…

Whether or not a building is net zero energy, part of its sustainability is related to its land use….

A building’s immediate surroundings change its effective weather patterns, as nearby buildings or tr…

Once you’ve utilized passive design strategies to the best of your site’s ability, you can start to…

Clean grid power is electricity that is generated by solar, wind, or other clean renewable energy so…

Climate is the most important environmental factor and the first one that architects and engineers s…

For good visual comfort, light needs to have the right color and quality. Light can feel cool or war…

Lighting and daylighting controls are systems that adjust the amount of natural and artificial light…

Controls for thermal comfort are sensors and controllers, such as thermostats, humidistats, mechaniz…

Using daylight in your building is a key strategy for passive design. Letting sun into your building…

You likely won’t be able to illuminate a space through daylight alone all the time, so you’ll have t…

Good lighting is usually an intelligent blend of natural and artificial light. Specifying the right…

1. Introduction Energy conservation and energy efficiency are attractive solutions for reducing oper…

1. Introduction According to a survey that was conducted by the Energy Conservation Center Ho Chi Mi…

According to the scientific community, climate change is happening and its effects will have severe…

Lighting, HVAC equipment, water heaters, and appliances all consume energy in the form of either ele…

Visual comfort is measured by illumination levels and distribution.  This includes not only the brig…

The building process has been refined over thousands of years. While every project’s process is slig…

As discussed on the Resource Use and Buildings page, good thermal performance of the materials in th…

Understanding fundamental heat flows from conduction, convection, and radiation is key to creating e…

1. Introduction Heat pumps offer the most energy-efficient way to provide heating and cooling in man…

Heat pumps move heat from one place to another.  Some can pump heat both out of and into a building,…

HIGH EFFICIENCY AIRCONDITIONER 1. Introduction According to a survey of 300 buildings conducted by t…

Window configurations that use low-e coatings, selective transmission films, inert gas fills, and th…

Energy-efficient buildings are only effective when the occupants of the buildings are comfortable. I…

Humidity can be just as important as temperature for human comfort.  Too much humidity can amplify t…

Fog is the extreme of humidity Humidity control systems add or remove water vapor from indoor air to…

Even after you’ve specified the equipment, configured the system, and built the building – you’re on…

As you specify the equipment, you’ll want to configure it within your system design so that it is mo…

Mechanical heating and cooling uses electricity or burning fuel to achieve thermal comfort in buildi…

HVAC operations and maintenance (“O&M”) are the practices that keep mechanical systems working a…

Besides considerations of thermal comfort, indoor air quality means that the chemical composition of…

Water also moves through building envelope assemblies—in both liquid and vapor states. Unwanted infi…

ISO 50001 – ENERGY MANAGEMENT 1. Introduction ISO 50001 supports organizations in all sectors to use…

For true visual comfort, you don’t just need the right amount of illumination. Light needs to be wel…

Light fixtures (“Luminaires”) are the hardware required to hold and operate artificial light sources…

Getting smart about lighting is an important step to designing energy efficient buildings. Learn how…

Lighting operations and maintenance (“O&M”) are the practices that keep lighting systems working…

Knowing how to measure energy use in buildings will help you set better energy efficiency goals. Ene…

To design for visual comfort, you need to know how to measure light. The measurement and perception…

An increasingly popular goal for green building is achieving Net Zero Energy – when your building is…

Improving the performance of our existing building stock is incredibly important. New construction o…

Night-Purge Ventilation (or “night flushing”) keeps windows and other passive ventilation openings c…

Buildings are designed for people, and those people are trying to accomplish a task – whether it’s r…

To keep people comfortable you’ll need to use the right combination of passive and active design str…

1. Introduction Photovoltaic systems use solar cells to capture the sun rays and convert that energy…

A psychrometric chart for a given location can tell you information about temperature (wet bulb and…

Radiant heating and radiant cooling systems are different from typical HVAC systems because they hea…

Rainwater harvesting means capturing and storing rain that falls on-site (usually on roofs).  It is…

Reducing heat loss and friction in an HVAC system’s air distribution system can help provide energy…

Buildings use energy, materials, water, and land to create the right environment for its occupants….

Shading is an important set of strategies for visual comfort and thermal comfort.  As such, successf…

As the sun moves, it can encounter sky conditions that can intensify it or obscure it. It is importa…

Solar hot water systems generate heat from sunlight.  They are also called “solar thermal” systems,…

Solar photovoltaics (PVs) create electricity directly from sunlight.  They are the most common form…

The sun’s movement through the day and through the year is one of the most crucial environmental fac…

SOLAR WATER HEATER 1. Introduction Solar water heaters capture the solar energy thermal energy to he…

Temperature varies throughout the day and throughout the year and is the most obvious metric to cons…

1. Introduction A control system is a device, or set of devices, that manages, commands, directs or…

Thermal loads are the amount of energy needed to be added or removed from a space by the HVAC system…

VSD 1. What is Variable Speed Drive? Variable Speed Drive (VSD) or Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) or…

Views are the ability for building occupants to see landscape, objects, and people outside the build…

Understanding and optimizing the heat transfer through the walls is important in high performance bu…

Most buildings use municipal drinking water for all uses, but many applications (such as irrigation,…

Water use generally refers to municipal potable water use on the site.  It includes the use from fix…

photo: Jeremy Faludi Fixtures that save water include low-flow shower heads, sinks with auto-shutoff…

Water-Efficient irrigation and landscaping are ways to save water by choosing different irrigation e…

Wind provides natural ventilation and usually cools buildings and people because it accelerates the…

Wind power uses wind to push a motor that generates electricity.  Generators are usually called “win…

The design of fenestration (windows, skylights, etc) requires special attention because of the huge…

Most HVAC systems heat or cool forced air. The components and layout of mechanical air distribution…