Category Archives: Green Building

Beware of Galvanic Action (It’s a Thing)

Beware of Galvanic Action (It’s a Thing)

Originally published on July 10, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. The concept of “galvanic action” is confounding to many design professionals. In simple terms, galvanic action refers to the corrosive effect created when two electrochemically dissimilar metals are in direct contact with each other. Their contact creates a conductive path for electrons and ions to move from one metal to the other. As ions move from one metal to another, corrosion occurs. The remedy is to….

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The Psychrometric Chart Explained

The Psychrometric Chart Explained

Originally published on June 13, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. It is one of the intimidating charts for any building design professional: the psychrometric chart. At first blush, the “psych chart” looks very complicated. There are layers of axes and curved reference lines. However, a closer examination will reveal that – at its essence – the chart is visually conveying the answers to two related questions: How much sensible (dry-bulb) heat is in the air? (See….

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Dry-Bulb Temperature, Wet-Bulb Temperature and Enthalpy

Dry-Bulb Temperature, Wet-Bulb Temperature and Enthalpy

Originally published on May 9, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. There is energy in the air all around us. Some of it exists in the form of thermal energy that one can sense – heat in air that impacts one’s perception of thermal comfort. But there is also an energy embodied in the vapor present in the air. While this “hidden” heat is not experienced as warmth, it certainly has a bearing on thermal comfort as….

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Earth Day: A Reminder for Stewardship of Our Resources

Earth Day: A Reminder for Stewardship of Our Resources

As landscape architecture, architecture, planning and interior design professionals, our designs are sensitive to the environment as we orchestrate nature and man-made open spaces to create a symphony of experiences for the people who occupy them. Earth Day, which is on Sunday, April 22, should remind us of the role that we, humans, have for stewarding the Earth’s living resources as part of the created order. We should seek to live in harmony with nature and find more creative ways….

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Defining Humidity Ratio and Relative Humidity

Defining Humidity Ratio and Relative Humidity

Originally published on April 4, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. How does a hot-air balloon rise? Fire up the burner and the temperature of the air captured within the balloon increased. The molecules of the air take on the thermal energy and become more excited. The excited molecules create more space between them. As a result, the air expands as its temperature increases. Thus, one pound of air at 80-degrees Fahrenheit (°F) is a larger volume than….

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Thermal Dynamics: Visualizing Sensible Versus Latent Heat

Thermal Dynamics: Visualizing Sensible Versus Latent Heat

Originally published on March 12, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. It’s the first law of thermodynamics. The Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; energy can only be transferred or changed from one form to another. This is the foundation of phase change in the physical environment. Molecular activity requires energy. The activity does not just magically happen. Phase Change When a material changes its state or phase (e.g., going….

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Understanding the SITES Initiative and its Benefits

Understanding the SITES Initiative and its Benefits

Architects have been known for creating beautiful and functional buildings all while thinking about what materials can be used that are sustainable to our environment. Over the past several years, several robust green building standards have emerged in the marketplace, including LEED, WELL, Fitwel, and the Living Building Challenge. This commitment to sustainability in building design and construction is now spilling over into the landscape architecture arena, largely as a result of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES). WHAT IS SITES?….

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Five Diagrams Every Design Team Should Know

Five Diagrams Every Design Team Should Know

Originally published on February 7, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. They might be considered cliché; however, they might also be very true. The following are five diagrams that frequently work their way into slide decks about green building design and construction. You should be familiar with all of these. Let’s unpack each one briefly – going back to primary source material and acknowledging attribution. Read more…

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Tracking Energy Efficiency Improvements in ASHRAE Standard 90.1

Tracking Energy Efficiency Improvements in ASHRAE Standard 90.1

Originally published on January 17, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. It may be the most well-known standard in the building design and construction industry: ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (or more commonly, ASHRAE Standard 90.1). It serves as the basis for many energy codes across the U.S. It is also the energy standard referenced by LEED and other green building certification systems. Every few years, Standard 90.1 is updated by….

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Toward Benchmarking Embodied Carbon in Buildings

Toward Benchmarking Embodied Carbon in Buildings

Originally published on December 14, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog.   The term “Global Warming Potential” (GWP) is a measure of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane. These emissions are causing an increase in the absorption of radiation emitted by the Earth, increasing the natural greenhouse effect. This may in turn have adverse impacts on ecosystem health, human health, and material welfare. With regard to buildings, GWP is gauged by carbon emissions and….

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