Tag Archives: thermal comfort

The Health Impacts of Indoor Relative Humidity

Green Building

The Health Impacts of Indoor Relative Humidity

Originally published on October 1, 2018 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog.   In many parts of the U.S., homeowners with basements have to manage rising humidity levels for most of the cooling season. It is not uncommon for such individuals to have a dehumidifer running full-throttle in the basement from April through October. High indoor humidity levels has been associated with the growth of fungi, such as mold, among other irritants. The EPA suggests keeping indoor relative….

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The Psychrometric Chart Explained

Green Building

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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Thermal Dynamics: Visualizing Sensible Versus Latent Heat

Green Building

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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Applets for Energy and Environmental Design

Green Building

Applets for Energy and Environmental Design

Originally published on July 10, 2017 by BNP Media through the Building Enclosure Blog. Newsflash: There are a lot of great (and free) online resources for design professionals. When I am having exchanges about energy and environmental design analysis with colleagues and students, it seems like I am constantly referring them to any number of small, accessible online utility programs for performing simple – yet highly sophisticated – functions. Some would refer to these small programs as applets. Below, I have….

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Five Ecotect Functions that Need to Be Migrated to Revit

Green Building

Five Ecotect Functions that Need to Be Migrated to Revit

Originally published on May 18, 2016 by BNP Media through the Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing Blog. Eight years ago, Autodesk made a bold and decisive move toward prioritizing sustainable design tools when it acquired the assets of Square One Research, including their design performance modeling software Ecotect. To that point in time, Dr. Andrew Marsh had incrementally built the Ecotect platform into a light, versatile energy analysis tool. Its playful graphic outputs and high degree of interoperability made it a….

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Standard Effective Temperature (SET) and Thermal Comfort

Green Building

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

Green Building

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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Evaluating Human Thermal Comfort

Green Building

Evaluating Human Thermal Comfort

In building design and construction, energy efficiency does not necessarily equate to good thermal comfort for occupants. In fact, human thermal comfort is rather difficult to analyze because it is as much psychological as it is physiological. The notion of “comfort” is a personal feeling – not a quantifiable metric like the kilowatt-hour is for electricity. Think about it – who has not been in a room where one person claims to be uncomfortably hot while someone close by exclaims to be cold? So, how….

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