To keep interior spaces warm in the winter (and nice and cool in the summer), Building Teams report adopting more advanced approaches to envelope design and construction, whether for big-ticket cladding choices, window edge details, or meticulous mockup and installation practices.
Fortunately, a confluence of product innovations, creative assemblies, and improved project delivery techniques are helping improve performance and reduce first costs and long-term energy use.
New findings run the gamut. Modeling of enclosures is expanding, as seen in the recently developed sensitivity analysis tool (tinyurl.com/y8ct6xfl) for quantifying the impact of thermal bridging and corresponding efficiency measures for high-rise residential buildings, according to Brad Carmichael, PE, Assoc. AIA, Senior Building Science Specialist with JRS Engineering.
Improved insulation and cladding systems are enhancing performance as they simplify construction and installation. Methods for mitigating energy losses—including thermal bridging, which experts like engineer Joseph Lstiburek, PhD, say can account for the most uncontrolled heat loss and gain in buildings—have turned the glazing discussion to edge-of-glass performance. In that vein, new breaks and edge spacers dramatically boost performance as compared to treating glass with additional coatings.
After reading this article, you should be able to:
• Describe the general principles of building siting, orientation, and overall design that contribute to energy efficiency and enclosure integrity.
• Discuss continuous insulation and the methods of selecting and applying thermal protections.
• List key systems and components for mitigating solar heat gain and unwanted glare.
• Explain how design and construction practices can affect enclosure performance.