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Ever-increasing performance requirements in the latest version of the energy codes are compelling project teams to consider the thermal performance of the building envelope more rigorously than ever before. Many of these code updates are incorporating new backstops that limit how much worse the envelope can perform compared to the prescriptive requirements even if the overall energy reductions are achieved through tradeoffs.
It is imperative to develop an integrated and iterative modeling regiment from the earliest project phases to ensure that the design coalesces around an effective performance strategy. Parametric modeling tools can assess a wide range of potential design scenarios and identify multiple compliance pathways, searching though different combinations of window-to-wall ratio, placement of windows, assembly U-Values, glazing selection, and other façade design parameters.
The paper will include a study utilizing a parametric workflow to investigate the impact of the façade on energy performance and code compliance.
Sustainability has played an increasingly critical role in the practice of architecture during the past two decades as the impact of the built environment on climate change has become better understood.
Buildings are estimated to be responsible for 67% of the carbon emission in New York City according to the Blueprint for Efficiency, the 2018 report by the Urban Green Council 1 and are expected to compromise a similar proportion of emissions in other urban areas. Cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C is considered essential by the UN to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. If current trends continue, it is likely that 4.4°C warming will occur.
Standards mandating minimum energy performance for buildings have existed for quite some time. ASHRAE 90.1: Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings is a standard referenced by many energy
More recently the energy codes in many jurisdictions have been aggressively ratcheting up their requirements to improve the performance of new and existing buildings to meet the challenges of the
It appears from these examples that energy codes are becoming more serious about addressing the urgency of climate action, with a particular emphasis on the building façade. It makes sense
The AEC industry needs to familiarize itself with the updated requirements and develop new processes that can ensure compliance with energy code earlier in the design process. Project teams that
The degree of influence that the façade has on the ultimate energy performance of the building does depend on a variety of factors such as the climate, building type, and
This type of parametric analysis is repeatable for all projects to quickly provide an initial study of the façade’s influence on performance, system sizing, and how it relates to code
I would like to thank my Built Ecology colleagues Zachary Stevens and Joelle Jahn for their insights into the Seattle and Boston energy code requirements, as well as my co-instructor John Neary of HOK for the New York City office building example from our Net Zero façade studio that was used in the parametric study.