Category: Energy Demand, Energy Efficiency, High-performance Buildings
A building envelope consists of the walls, windows, foundation and roof and isolates the building’s climate from the exterior climate. The U.S. DOE claims that a building’s envelope accounts for “approximately 30% of the energy consumed in residential and commercial buildings and plays a key role in determining levels of comfort, natural lighting, ventilation, and how much energy is required to heat and cool a building.” Retrofitting a building’s envelope or designing a new building with the envelope in mind is essential to the building’s energy efficiency.
- Increases indoor comfort
- Reduces energy bills
- Reduces carbon emissions
- Increases productivity of building users
- Can be subsidized with government rebate programs.
- Can decrease ventilation, increasing the risk of trapping harmful gasses within the building.
- Expensive upfront cost.
Variable to how current state of building envelope. More emissions mitigated in less efficient buildings.
Difficult to predict due to many variables including: age of building, quality of improvements, cost of energy, location of building, aspect of building.
Works well alongside other retrofitting projects.
2-5 yearsMore Info
Building studies, cost-benefit scenarios are typical before implementation is started.
Low / NoneMore Info
Once installed, an updated envelope decreases the amount of maintenance required.
Not very creative, appears to be more routine, logical, cost saving solutions rather than a sustainable one.