Building Envelope Design on the Path Toward Net Zero Performance

Review how changing energy requirements impact envelope design. Discover new design guides and tools that can help achieve your project’s building envelope performance.

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The building envelope (cladding, glazing and roofing assemblies) is an integral part of the architectural expression of any buildings. In recent years the advent of computer simulations to assist in the structural design and manufacturing of building envelope assemblies has allowed for increasingly complex designs. However, in the past ten years, energy codes have significantly increased the energy performance as part of a trend towards high performance buildings. This has put increased emphasis on the role building envelope design plays in minimizing the energy required to operate buildings while still achieving the desired architectural design.

At the same time, research and progress in the ability of computer simulations to analyze the performance of envelope assemblies have led to significant breakthroughs in the understanding of how these assemblies perform especially how thermal bringing affect their effectiveness. On the path towards net zero performance, the implications of the envelope performance is increasingly harder to ignore as the traditional trade off of efficiencies from the MEP systems can no longer account for the poor performance of the building envelope. Early design considerations of the effective performance of the building envelope is becoming crucial to the success of projects. This has led to the development of new design guides, tools and metrics to inform designers and assist them in making educated decisions on the design of the building envelope early in the design process to ensure performance expectations can be met while still achieving the desired architectural design.

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Anik Teasdale-St-Hilaire resized

Anik Teasdale-St. Hilaire, Ph.D., P.Eng.

Anik has worked on a variety of projects, including: design and construction review of new residential, commercial, institutional and recreational buildings; building envelope condition assessments; glazing, glazing systems, sealant and roof failure investigations; building envelope rehabilitation projects, and; hygrothermal simulations of building envelope assemblies. Anik has written many scientific papers on the topic of her Ph.D. thesis, which investigated the hygrothermal performance of wood-frame wall assemblies wetted by wind-driven rain infiltration both experimentally and using a numerical simulation tool.