The Building Envelope as a System – A Balanced Approach

One fundamental method to achieve deep green buildings is optimizing the envelope with the mechanical and electrical systems. Designers should consider the envelope as a system where heat, light, and air flow in both directions, rather than simply a barrier between the interior and exterior. The envelope can be designed to reduce energy loads and impact health and productivity through natural light and control of indoor environment. This can help achieve credits across multiple LEED product. This presentation will present the results of our exploration through integrated design and parametric analysis the impacts and opportunities associated with the building envelope when pursuing a deep green building. The presentation is based on multiple large Canadian commercial buildings each targeting net zero carbon.

We will present a methodology to use parametric analysis with whole building energy modelling to explore and understand the energy and carbon impacts of envelope options. The methodology and tools are straightforward and understandable by architects and owners, and can enable designers to invest more wisely in their envelope. The presenters include two senior Building Envelope Specialists, both LEED Fellows. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how the envelope can contribute to energy reductions.

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Mark Lucuik, P.Eng., LEED Fellow

Mark is the Director of Sustainability at Morrison Hershfield. Mark has acquired a wide range of knowledge in sustainable design and building science through his experience at Morrison Hershfield, private work and through research in both wood products and roofing materials, and environmental embodied effects. Mark achieved LEED Fellow status in 2013, making him one of a very short list of North Americans with the most prestigious designation for LEED Professionals, recognizing exceptional contributions to green building and significant professional achievement within the rapidly growing community of sustainability Professionals.


Jamie McKay, P.Eng., BECXP, LEED Fellow

Jamie has acquired a wide range of knowledge in sustainable design and building science through his project experience at Morrison Hershfield, technical presentations and teaching/lecturing. His specialties include sustainable design facilitation and integration, high performance building envelopes, adaptive reuse of heritage buildings, LEED Building Durability, and LEED Building Envelope Commissioning (BECx). Jamie received his LEED Fellow designation in 2014 from the USGBC and his Building Envelope Commissioning (BECxP) accreditation from the University of Wisconsin in 2017.