Environmental Design Principles for the Building Envelope and More _: Passive and Active Measures

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Given the need to reduce building sector related energy consumption and greenhouse gases (GHG), passive and sustainable buildings are a focal point. Simple methods and techniques, which use appropriate building design, material and systems selection, and reflect consideration of the local environmental elements, such as air and sun, provide thermal and visual comfort with less non-renewable energy sources. These techniques are referred to as environmental or bioclimatic design. There are two types of measures to be taken: passive and active. Passive principles exploit the design and properties of the building envelope to minimise or maximise the heat losses and heat gains respectively, to reduce the energy demand. In addition to passive, active measures such as heating systems and solar power technologies are used to produce and distribute the energy needed to achieve comfort of the occupants.
The present chapter aims at giving an overview of design principles that result in more comfortable and energy efficient buildings. Passive and active design principles are in line with the environmental design concepts. The environmental design principles can be beneficial to the building performance, whether the design ambition is to have a comfortable and functional building with reasonable energy demand or goes as far as achieving sustainable standards such as zero-energy or passive house.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnergy - Resources and Building Performance
EditorsThaleia Konstantinou, Natasa Cukovic, Martina Zbasnik
PublisherTU Delft Open
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6366-034-1
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameReviews of Sustainability and Resilience of the Built Environment for Education, Research and Design
PublisherTU Delft Open


  • building technology

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