Climate considerations for an environment adaptive building design

Do the words “convection” and “conduction” ring a bell in your mind?

Straight out from the physics book of your school time, they are processes of heat transfer. But we aren’t going to conduct a physics class – instead, we are more interested in discussing the climate conditions that influence a building design.

What are climate considerations?

Everybody wants to have a comfortable living space. The temperature in the house is a consequence of the heating balance between us and the surrounding spaces.

Depending on the geographical location, houses get heated and cool off differently. So it’s better to have houses that retain the heat inside in cold places. On the other hand, houses in hot and humid places benefit from preventing the entry of heat from the sunlight.

Climatic responsive buildings take various things into account like the sun’s direction, elements like rain, wind, climate information and other factors to design climate adaptive buildings

How to construct a climate responsive building?

It’s all about going in for an environmentally friendly approach today. Climate considerations in building design start from the early phases even before laying the design on paper.

1. Site Analysis

Research all on-site elements like soil, climate, weather patterns, the path of the sun, wind direction and speed and so on. Study the geology, habitat and water flows and gather all data.

Then consult a professional to understand the consequences of developing your project there.

2. Track the Sun

The goal of climate responsive building is to use natural cooling and heating processes as much as possible. The building should be located accordingly to maximize the sun exposure during winter. The aim should reduce the area exposed sun in summer to keep the house cool.

Both will reduce the energy consumption of HVAC systems saving electricity costs.

3. Architectural and Structural Factors

The architectural and structural design elements of your building have a direct effect on the indoor climate.

The location and material of windows should stop radiation and keep the heat outside in warm areas. A triple pane glass window will also seal the heat inside during winter.

Natural ventilation is another favorable factor which can help in balancing the thermal comfort. The building can draw cool air from lower inlets as cold wind settles at the bottom.

Hot air rises, and openings on upper parts of the building will help the heat escape.

The building envelope should consider factors like insulation, air barriers, vapor barriers based on the climatic condition of the place.

4. Modeling and Analysis

You will need to create a good model with all information so you get accurate data and insight. Planning environment for building information modeling (BIM) is ideal for lighting analysis, energy modeling, ventilation and envelope planning, daylighting analysis and so on.

You can make changes to a single aspect and all other related aspects are updated automatically. With a reliable BIM consulting you can create highly climate responsive buildings.