Welcome to the Architecture and the Environment

I have pulled together all the guides and information from the website that I think will be useful to anyone looking to gain a better understanding of the architecture and the environment. 

Some of these articles have a pdf version you can download, and save to your computer for easy reference later on.

I hope you find these useful as you navigate your design process!

An introduction to the series, we will look at a number of areas relating to sustainability, architecture and the environment, environmental architecture, renewables and more.

Some of the key factors requiring improvement for the sake of the internal environment of our buildings include thermal performance of the fabric of the building and an improved response to our changing climate, this post starts to explore these issues.

Achieving good thermal performance of a building fabric will reduce the heat loss from a building, which in turn will reduce the space heating requirements along with carbon emissions and make for improved thermal comfort of the occupants. We explore this more in the above article. 

In order to create a comfortable thermal environment in our buildings we need to maintain a constant temperature within the building. By providing a building fabric that keeps heat within the building for as long as possible we are able to conserve energy by reducing the requirement for heating and therefore also reducing costs. Here we explore insulation materials.

Natural light in our buildings is known to improve occupant comfort, in this post we explore sunlight, sunpaths and solar gain. 

It is an important consideration when designing buildings that we consider the sound quality of our built environment. Unwanted sound is perceived as a nuisance and can cause a number of emotional effects.

 

Air leakage results in increased space heating demand of a building. Achieving a good level of airtightness will improve the energy efficiency of the building and the comfort of the occupants by reducing drafts and maintaining a more constant temperature. 

A thermal mass design strategy can help maintain a steady temperature in a building. The design will allow buildings to stay cool during the summer months and keep a good balance on space heating requirements. 

Globally, water scarcity is as important as energy, and has an impact on health, and food production. A large proportion of the worlds population do not have access to safe water. 

Low and zero carbon technologies (LZC) are systems that emit low levels of CO2 or no net CO2 emissions. The application of these systems are more effective when designed with an efficient building fabric, and integrated passive design. This can bring a buildings overall CO2 emissions much closer to zero.

Using the energy of the sun is one of the most effective strategies of the renewable technologies, in part because buildings can benefit from both passive and active systems. 

Combined heat and power (CHP) generates electricity by burning fuel, and captures the usable heat that is produced in the process. Essentially, it is a system that is able to produce both electricity, and heating.

A heat pump is a system that extracts heat from a source, such as the ground, and upgrades the heat to a useful temperature. The heat is then used for space heating. 

coming soon…