Buildings that Breathe: LIGHT AND AIR
Before the development of efficient artificial lighting, heating, and cooling systems in the 20th century, access to fresh air and daylight was a primary determinant of building form. In the last fifty years buildings have increasingly relied on mechanical systems for their light and air. Some contemporary architects, however, are once again promoting the importance of natural systems. They are designing large-scale buildings illuminated by the sun and naturally ventilated with double-skin windows that let in air but keep out noise and heat. Strategies for natural ventilation and illumination are now becoming more widely accepted as architects and engineers develop advanced techniques for providing natural air-conditioning in buildings of unprecedented size in the hottest of climates, as well as reviving older, forgotten strategies.
GREEN BUILDING DESIGN
Smaller is better. Optimize use of interior space with good design so that the overall building size and resource use in constructing and operating it are kept to a minimum.
Design an energy-efficient building. Use high levels of insulation, high-performance windows tuned to the sun (heat reflective in east & west), and tightly sealed construction. Attached buildings minimize expensive inefficient exterior envelope.
Comfort for free. Passive solar heating, daylighting, and natural cooling can be incorporated cost-effectively into most buildings. Orient buildings with long sides within 15 degrees of south (slightly east gives best heat distribution) with garages and storage on west and east. On southern windows, block sunlight greater than 65 degrees. Glaze areas of southern façades equal to 7% of total floor areas. If thermal mass (ex. tile, masonry, concrete) is used, glaze south up to 12% of floor area. Provide cross ventilation and heat chimneys.
Get free energy. Design buildings with solar water heating and photovoltaics or for future solar...