Presentation: Why the Building Envelope Controls the Energy Equation” & is critical in reducing energy usage over the life of the building
Presenter: Tony Robinson, MS, is president of Axis Design-Build, Inc. (since 1989), adjunct professor, author, and a professional member of NTREG
The Building Envelope manages heat flows between the external environment and the interior space, admits daylight, mitigates sound transmission, and diverts and controls flows of air and water. As such, the Building Envelope is the mediator of all energy transfers for the building, and it controls the energy equation.
We have been trained to regard the envelope as a barrier, something which rejects unwanted flows, and mechanical and electrical equipment as systems which remove or mitigate them. But in High-Performance Buildings, we need to re-orient our focus, and regard the envelope as more like a membrane or a collector, something which can also absorb and translate energy into a more useful form.