Implications for Building Envelope Design Toward Net Zero Performance

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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Stéphane Hoffman, M. Arch., M. Eng., PE

With Master’s studies that combines structural engineering, building science and architecture, Stéphane brings a well-balanced consulting approach to the building envelope; blending scientific analysis with an understanding of aesthetic considerations. He is particularly adept at providing innovative design concepts and construction alternatives that improve durability and increase energy efficiency. As a key technical leader, Stéphane has worked on projects throughout North America and is often called upon to troubleshoot and help resolve issues on both new and existing buildings.