Category Archives: Green Building

Standard Effective Temperature (SET) and Thermal Comfort

Standard Effective Temperature (SET) and Thermal Comfort

Originally published on January 18, 2016 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. Recently, the U.S. Green Building Council adopted three new pilot credits on resilient design for use by LEED project teams for innovation credit. One pilot credit in particular, Passive Survivability and Functionality During Emergencies, endeavors to ensure that buildings will maintain reasonable (i.e., “survivable”) functionality, including access to potable water, in the event of an extended power outage or loss of heating fuel. Power outages….

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Visualizing Weather Data Using Climate Consultant

Visualizing Weather Data Using Climate Consultant

Originally published on December 28, 2015 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) provides public access to long-term climate data for over 2,100 locations throughout the world in formats suitable for the publicly-funded EnergyPlus whole-building energy modeling software. These files are chock-full of hourly weather data of 30-year averages for temperature, humidity, wind speeds, and much more. For residential projects and other skin-load dominated….

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The Difference Between Reflectance and Emittance

The Difference Between Reflectance and Emittance

Originally published on November 18, 2015 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. What is emittance? Among the three basic forms of heat transfer – conduction, convection, and radiation – the term emittance refers to a material’s ability to release heat through radiation. The term necessarily refers to the heat exchange at surface of a material because heat exchange through a solid would be conductive and heat exchange through a fluid would be convective. Emittance is the….

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Corporate Sustainability Reports (CSRs) and LEED v4

Corporate Sustainability Reports (CSRs) and LEED v4

Originally published on October 20, 2015 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. While various transparency labels such as Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), Health Product Declarations (HPDs), and Cradle to Cradle Certified Products have received a great deal of attention under LEED v4, project teams can also be rewarded by choosing products from manufacturers that have publicly released information from their raw materials suppliers indicating extraction locations, a long-term commitment to ecologically responsible land use, efforts to….

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We Must Address Our Aging Infrastructure

We Must Address Our Aging Infrastructure

Originally published on September 22, 2015 by BNP Media through the Walls & Ceilings Blog. Infrastructure is essential for every family, community, and business to function. It encompasses everything from the water that comes out of your faucet to the Hoover Dam; from the road in your neighborhood to our expansive interstate highway network. Planes, trains, ports, the electric grid, solid way conveyance – it all falls under the umbrella of infrastructure. It is the foundation that connects society, driving….

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Analog Analysis

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

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

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

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)

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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