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Sebastian Taylor
Sebastian Taylor

Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects - How to Apply Passive and Active Strategies for Heating, Cooling, and Lighting Buildings

Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects book pdf

If you are an architect or a student of architecture who wants to learn more about sustainable design methods for buildings, you might be interested in reading Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects by Norbert Lechner. This book is a comprehensive guide on how to design buildings that are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly, and economically viable.

Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects book pdf

Why is sustainable design important for architects?

Sustainable design is not only a moral duty but also a practical necessity for architects in the 21st century. As the world faces the challenges of climate change, resource depletion, and population growth, architects have a crucial role in creating buildings that can adapt to these changes and mitigate their impacts. By applying sustainable design methods, architects can create buildings that:

  • Reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions

  • Improve indoor and outdoor environmental quality

  • Ensure economic viability and social equity

These benefits not only enhance the performance and functionality of buildings but also their aesthetics and livability. Sustainable design can also create opportunities for innovation and creativity in architecture, as well as foster collaboration and communication among different stakeholders.

What are the main principles of sustainable design?

The main principles of sustainable design can be summarized by the three E's: energy efficiency, environmental quality, and economic viability. These principles are interrelated and interdependent, and they should be considered holistically and systematically in every stage of the design process.

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is the ability to provide the same or better level of service with less energy input. Energy efficiency can reduce the operational and maintenance costs of buildings, as well as their environmental impacts. Energy efficiency can be achieved by using passive and active strategies.

Passive strategies

Passive strategies are design techniques that use natural forces and phenomena to regulate the heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings without relying on mechanical or electrical systems. Some examples of passive strategies are:

  • Orientation: Aligning the building with the sun and wind directions to optimize solar gain and natural ventilation

  • Shading: Using overhangs, awnings, louvers, trees, or other elements to block unwanted solar radiation and reduce cooling loads

  • Insulation: Using materials with high thermal resistance to prevent heat loss or gain through the building envelope

  • Natural ventilation: Using openings, windows, doors, or vents to allow fresh air to enter and exit the building and remove excess heat and moisture

  • Daylighting: Using skylights, windows, or light shelves to bring natural light into the building and reduce artificial lighting needs

Active strategies

Active strategies are design techniques that use mechanical or electrical systems to regulate the heating, cooling, and lighting of buildings based on the demand and supply of energy. Some examples of active strategies are:

  • Solar panels: Using photovoltaic cells to convert solar radiation into electricity

  • Wind turbines: Using blades to capture wind energy and generate electricity

  • Geothermal systems: Using pipes to exchange heat with the ground or water sources

  • Heat pumps: Using compressors and refrigerants to transfer heat from one place to another

Environmental quality

Environmental quality is the ability to provide a healthy and comfortable environment for the occupants and users of buildings, as well as for the surrounding ecosystem. Environmental quality can improve the well-being and productivity of people, as well as their satisfaction and enjoyment of buildings. Environmental quality can be achieved by using natural materials, minimizing waste, and enhancing biodiversity.

Natural materials

Natural materials are materials that are derived from renewable or biodegradable sources and have low embodied energy and environmental impacts. Natural materials can create a sense of warmth and connection with nature in buildings, as well as reduce indoor air pollution and allergens. Some examples of natural materials are:

  • Wood: A versatile material that can be used for structural, aesthetic, or acoustic purposes

  • Stone: A durable material that can provide thermal mass and aesthetic appeal

  • Bamboo: A fast-growing material that can be used for flooring, furniture, or scaffolding

  • Hemp: A fibrous material that can be used for insulation, textiles, or paper

Minimizing waste

Minimizing waste is the ability to reduce the amount and toxicity of waste generated by buildings during their construction, operation, and demolition. Minimizing waste can save resources, money, and space, as well as prevent pollution and contamination. Minimizing waste can be achieved by using recycling, reusing, and composting.

  • Recycling: The process of converting waste materials into new products or materials that can be used again

  • Reusing: The process of using waste materials or products for another purpose or function without changing their form or quality

  • Composting: The process of decomposing organic waste materials into nutrient-rich soil that can be used for gardening or farming

Enhancing biodiversity

Enhancing biodiversity is the ability to increase the variety and richness of living organisms in and around buildings. Enhancing biodiversity can support ecosystem services, such as pollination, pest control, water purification, etc. Enhancing biodiversity can also create a sense of beauty and wonder in buildings, as well as educational opportunities for learning about nature. Enhancing biodiversity can be achieved by using green roofs, walls, gardens, etc.

  • Green roofs: Roofs that are covered with vegetation that can provide insulation, stormwater management, habitat creation, etc.

  • Green walls: Walls that are covered with vegetation that can provide shading, noise reduction, air purification, etc.

Economic viability