All posts by Daniel Overbey

Analog Analysis

Green Building

Analog Analysis

Lam Partners Principal Keith Yancey demonstrates model testing on the heliodon with students at the Boston Architectural College during the Fall 2015 Intensive Week. Photograph by Daniel Overbey. Originally published on August 25, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Digital tools are vital (I rely on them virtually everyday), but sometimes in order to really understand a phenomena we have to get a bit closer. That’s where analog analysis tools come in handy. Something special happens when….

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Examining the Jevons Paradox through Residential Energy Consumption

Green Building

Examining the Jevons Paradox through Residential Energy Consumption

Originally published on August 13, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Is there any such thing as a ‘perfect’ energy code? I recently posed this question to a colleague of mine – a gentleman with whom I have served alongside in multiple state code review committees over the years. He poignantly offered, “While new energy codes may improve the energy efficiency of a building, it does not follow axiomatically that the building will use less energy.”….

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Understanding the Profile Angle

Green Building

Understanding the Profile Angle

Originally published on July 6, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. If you’ve ever designed an overhang to protect a window, you have been confronted with the question of how far should it extend? It seems like a simple enough question, yet the factors to consider lead to ever more questions: …which way does the window face? …how much of the window should be protected? …how is the overhang length related to various Sun angles? At….

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When the ‘Prevailing’ Wind Direction is Anything But

Green Building

When the ‘Prevailing’ Wind Direction is Anything But

Originally published on June 1, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. The wind rose is a conventional diagram for characterizing both the direction and frequency of wind around a project site. This graphic is commonly included in a climate data analysis. Some software platforms such as Climate Consultant, one of several free energy analysis tools developed and released through the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Architecture & Urban Design, can generate wind roses….

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Comparing Solar Heat Gain Coefficients (SHGC) and Shading Coefficients (SC)

Green Building

Comparing Solar Heat Gain Coefficients (SHGC) and Shading Coefficients (SC)

Originally published on May 18, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. I was recently discussing glazing properties with a mechanical engineer for an energy model of a corporate headquarters we are working on. We discussed U-factors first and then moved on to shading properties. We had this awkward moment where he asked me what the shading coefficients were. “You mean the solar heat gain coefficients?” “No, the shading coefficients,” he responded. This caught me off guard…..

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Basics of Bulk Water Management through Rainscreens

Green Building

Basics of Bulk Water Management through Rainscreens

Originally published on April 22, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. The building envelope must face a number of damage functions: bulk and capillary water, air-born water, vapor, radiation (ultraviolet degradation), pests, and people. But even in dry climates, water in all its forms perhaps poses the greatest challenge to building performance and longevity – and bulk water is public enemy number one. In general, there are four basic approaches to bulk water management in a….

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Gauging the Seasonal Efficiency of Air-Source Heat Pumps

Green Building

Gauging the Seasonal Efficiency of Air-Source Heat Pumps

Originally published on February 23, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Recently, I was working on an energy model for a high-performance housing prototype. Mostly, I apply energy modeling to non-residential structures. I did not have a coefficient of performance (COP) at my fingertips for the air-source heat pump (ASHP) used in my baseline model. In this context, the COP is the ratio of the amount of thermal energy (heat) delivered by a heat pump to….

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The 2030 Challenge Ratchets Up

Green Building

The 2030 Challenge Ratchets Up

Originally published on February 6, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. In the new year, project teams committed to the 2030 Challenge are being asked to kick their performance goals up a notch. As of January 1, 2015, the energy performance target for new buildings, including major renovations, has increased from 60% below the regional average to 70% below the regional average. For project teams looking to possibly commit to 2030 Challenge for the first time,….

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The Truth About Spray-Foam

Green Building

The Truth About Spray-Foam

Originally published on January 26, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Spray-foam has a reputation of providing superior insulating qualities compared to fiberglass batt, mineral wool, cellulose, and other insulation alternatives. The truth is that spray-foam does not necessarily perform better than other types of insulation when it comes to conductive heat transfer. Think about the insulation products you’ve seen at your local home-improvement store. Remember that big number on the label that started with an….

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When Will LEED v2.2 and 2009 Expire?

Green Building

When Will LEED v2.2 and 2009 Expire?

This column was updated on November 19, 2014 (it was first published on October 13th, 2013). Out with the old, in with the new. With the rollout of LEED v4 currently underway, LEED project teams should be mindful of the LEED-NC v2.2 and 2009 sunset dates. As every new version of LEED launches, USGBC initiates a process to phase out the previous version of the rating system. This process begins by establishing a date for closing registration. After the registration closure date,….

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