While both building envelopes and high-performance building envelopes refer to the sum of all elements of a building's outer shell. If you'll look closely, they are vastly different from one another.
In this article, we'll explain how high-performance building envelopes differs from regular building envelope. Along with some reasons how and why they reduce your carbon footprint.
A building envelope is the skin of a building; which separates the conditioned interior of the building from the unconditioned outside environments.
The building envelope is responsible for four basic, yet extremely important functions such as;
While a high-performance building envelope is essentially a building envelope, it differs from the latter in terms of its overall performance.
High-performance building envelope means that the building facade is able to efficiently:
Overall, a high-performance building facade integrates solutions for weatherproofing, temperature control, airflow regulation, noise reduction and moisture control (and other important functions) into a design that helps maximize the comfort of occupants within a given building.
High-performance building facades have tight envelope systems that allow for a high level of control over different variables within the building (such as temperature, air control, humidity, and energy expenditure).
Compared to loose building envelope systems, tight building envelopes do not allow natural air transfer, which can make the building airy and uncomfortable.
Although in some cases loose building envelopes remove the need for mechanical ventilation, these loose systems are less efficient in maintaining an ideal temperature ecosystem, especially in places with extreme temperatures.
Less glare and noise, excellent air quality and airflow, consistent temperature, less risk for mold and mildew, reduce the possibility of leaks—these are only some of the factors that make a high-performance building envelope system better in providing comfort than loose building envelope systems.
When building high-performance building envelope systems, one of the main goals is to create net-zero energy or one that produces enough energy to exceed or match the overall building consumption.
While it may not be easily obvious, building envelopes play a major role in the energy efficiency of any building.
To illustrate this, here are 5 reasons how high-performance building envelopes contribute to energy sustainability:
"We simply must balance our demand for energy with our rapidly shrinking resources. By acting now we can control our future instead of letting the future control us."- Jimmy Carter
It's notable that a building with a high-performance envelope and energy-efficient equipment has the lowest energy footprint possible for its floor area.
As we have discussed in the previous section, high-performance building envelopes' tight systems ensure both heat and energy loss and gains are kept to a minimum to maximize comfort, but also with regard to preserving energy (whether directly or indirectly).
So if you plan to reduce your energy footprint in your existing building, it's best to consult an expert in high-performance building envelopes to help you execute your vision.
Since 1981, Landmark Restorations has offered environmentally friendly solutions for clients aiming for energy sustainability. Over the years, we have grown to include all aspects of the building enclosure, including low-rise or high-rise office buildings, industrial properties, and even hotels.
We have helped countless companies with various building restoration projects, whether it's for adaptive reuse, energy efficiency, soundproofing, or thermal envelopes. As we've helped them, we can also help you protect your investments.
If you have questions on thermal envelopes, building restorations, and high-performance building envelopes, give us a call.