Understanding the Principles of Passive Design

12 April 2022

Contractors follow the finalised design and structural plan when constructing buildings. They likewise incorporate the best materials that can go with the intended setup, appeal, and function of the properties they are working on.

But some properties typically outperform others in terms of temperature regulation. You see, as people enter some buildings, they may notice how warm or cool the properties are even though they do not utilise many cooling or heating devices. One reason behind the effective temperature regulation of some properties is the careful planning of their passive design.

The Effectivenessof Passive Design

Passive design is a type of property design that ensures a comfortable temperature inside a building. Once passive design elements have been implemented optimally, the property does not have to rely on additional cooling or heating anymore. Its occupants, especially its owners, can expect lower utility bills, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and improved thermal comfort.

Most features and principles of passive design are recommended to be implemented during the construction of new buildings. Fortunately, these features can also be applied and integrated into existing properties once they undergo renovations or improvements.

Some features that must be accounted for when implementing the principles of passive design include thermal mass, insulation, and orientation. These features are considered in designing the building envelope, which is normally comprised of the roof, windows, floors, and walls.

Principal Factors of Passive Design

As mentioned earlier, a wide array of features must be accounted for whenever the principles of passive design are implemented. These features or factors are as follows:

  • Thermal Mass– One factor of passive design that must be considered thoroughly is thermal mass. It involves building materials that can properly absorb, store, release, and distribute heat throughout the property. Dense materials like brick and masonry are often recommended for implementing passive design as they can regulate heat effectively.
  • Insulation– Insulation is another factor when it comes to implementing passive design principles. Well-insulated walls, ceilings, and floors are expected to control the dissipation rate of the heat inside a property.
  • Orientation– Somehow maximised during the construction of a property, the building orientation must be considered to ensure the sun’s heat can be maximised or avoided accordingly. If the property is situated in a warm and humid location, then its long walls and other insulating materials must face south. If the property, alternatively, experiences cold temperature throughout the year, its walls must face north to attain more heat.
  • Windows– Windows are passive design elements that can attain or lose too much heat when positioned and designed incorrectly. Some characteristics of windows that can affect their heat regulation are installation height, dimensions, materials, and shading elements.
  • General Shading– One more factor to consider when implementing passive design principles is general shading. Eaves, awnings, and pergolas are shading elements that can control the amount of heat that enters a property. Plants can likewise be maximised to provide ample shading.

To know more about passive design principles, you can call us at GHP.

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