Balancing Visual Comfort and Energy Efficiency
Integrating environmental performance and aesthetics in an office building in South East Asia
Presented on August 5, 2020 at Facade Tectonics 2020 World Congress
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With increasing interest in wellness and human-centric design in workplaces, the design of building enclosures is predicated on optimizing competing performance criteria, including visual comfort, thermal behavior, maintenance, and cost-effectiveness simultaneously. Managing this varied set of indicators, while integrating them into a cohesive design, is challenging on many fronts, particularly regarding the quantification of a design’s value proposition. Here, we present a case study for a large office building in South East Asia; a climate characterized by hot air-temperatures, high humidity, and intense solar radiation. The design of the building envelope takes inspiration from the vernacular architecture of local temples and shading elements while being charged with a performance-driven approach to minimize the impact of solar radiation and maximize visual comfort. Iterative design propositions were evaluated through the lenses of energy efficiency, daylight optimization, and visual quality to determine the optimal design approach, based on an exterior shading system of aluminum extrusions with a ribbon-window back-up wall. Our analysis indicates that the exterior shading system is able to reduce glare discomfort by 78%, increase time when interior blinds are raised, reduce overall energy consumption by 7%, require 5 fewer air handling units, and reduce the chiller capacity by 200 tons, resulting in a 300 ton reduction in CO2 emissions when compared to the same building without exterior shades. As a result, the simple payback of the exterior shading system is estimated at 12 years when productivity gains are factored in along with environmental benefits. Thereby, within the early design stages, the exterior shading strategy offered an opportunity to integrate a re-interpretation of local architecture with the environmental and financial performance for the design of a building enclosure that can address both energy efficiency and user experience.
This paper presents a case-study focused on the development and presentation of a cohesive performance framework and value proposition for a high-performance building enclosure early in the design process. Importantly
The overall building design takes cues from local architecture, particularly centered on scale, proportions, and materiality. From this research, important themes have been incorporated into the design, such as human
To evaluate the performance of the external shading system, the following cases have been used for comparative analysis. Case 1: Design Case, as submitted for the Schematic Design phase. This
Results and Discussion
A whole-building energy model has been generated to estimate the energy and operational cost savings associated with the façade and other energy conservation measurements. The energy model considers the
Conclusion and Future Work
The results of the various performative analyses shown in this paper illustrate that the Design Case outperforms the Baseline Case - the Schematic Design backup wall with no exterior shading
The authors would like to thank the client, the design team at large, and all consultants involved in the project.
Rights and Permissions
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