Building Envelope in Green Building
Enclosure of a Green Home
The elements of a home (including all external building materials, windows, and
walls) that enclose the internal space is known as the building envelope, enclosure, or shell.
The envelope serves as the outer armor to protect the indoor environment as well as to facilitate its climate control. It is that part of the home which physically separates the exterior environment from the interior environment. It prevents air, moisture and heat/cool from flowing freely in or out of the home and is crucial to the performance of the building.
There are three parts to the building envelope. Although the parts are quite different from each other, they interact and comprise a physical system:
1. Exterior Environments
2. Interior Environments
3. The Envelope System ItselfThis three-dimensional envelope starts with with the inside face of the innermost interior layer, such as the interior paint, and extends to the face of the outermost layer, such as the exterior paint. The primary function of the home envelope is to separate the interior environment from exposure to the exterior environment. It is an assembly made up of all the adjacent enclosures.
The components of the building envelope are:
Borders defining where the exterior environment ends and the building envelope begins might be confusing, particularly when buffer spaces such as attics, garages, and crawlspaces are considered.
For a high-performing building, the envelope controls heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. It should be equal in importance to the structural frame in terms of design consideration while taking properties of the envelope into account such as the function, position, dimensions and orientation.
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