Basic principles and goals of bioclimatic design
The terms “green building” or “bioclimatic design” refer to the design of buildings and facilities based on local climate, aimed at providing thermal and visual comfort with minimal consumption of conventional energy while utilising other sources of renewable energy.
Bioclimatic design is very important and its correct application benefits both humans and the environment. Especially nowadays, the maintenance cost of a building is a big part of the family expenses so a significantly any reduced energy costs lead to considerable savings. It is also an inalienable right of every habitant to seek for better living conditions.
As for the environment, resource depletion and global environmental degradation become more evident every year. We all have to be more environmental responsible and adopt strategies in order to reduce or mitigate the environmental consequences of buildings. A construction with low or zero CO 2 emissions and the least embodied energy of used building materials, contributes to a limited ecological impact of the region.
The objectives of bioclimatic design are:
– Ensuring insulation in winter
– Protection from winter winds
– Minimizing heat loss in winter
– Protection from the summer sun
– Exploitation of cool winds in summer
– Removal of excess heat in summer
The basic principles of bioclimatic design take into account the local climate, choose the optimum orientation and take advantage of the following factors:
- Solar energy for heating in winter
The sunlight enters the building through transparent openings and the resulting energy is stored within the mass. The choice of the right orientation of the sites is the best way to achieve maximum exploitation. The most suitable has been proven to be the south.
- Cool winds for natural ventilation and cooling in summer
Bioclimatic design will ensure the movement and the recycling of air flows to the interior of the building without causing entrapment.
Bioclimatic design takes advantage of natural light in order to sufficiently cover the needs of habitants and avoid uneven light distribution.
After meticulous study and application of current thermal insulation and proofing against future energy losses by minimising energy consumption involves balancing the energy balance, minimising maintenance costs and respect the natural energy supply and environmental protection.
Vegetation ensures summer shading of the construction and generally balances the energy losses of stressful places of the building.
- Simplicity in the use of applications and avoidance of complex passive systems or techniques.
- Use energy-efficient technologies
- Selection and use of widely applied systems
- Bioclimatic design provides technical and economical efficient technologies with great quality.
The choice of the appropriate systems should ensure reliability, even though their development is relatively recent and their true effectiveness has not been determined over time.
However, the most important parameter is user’s desires and needs. Microclimate and the existing natural environment of the future building come next. The project engineer studies and interprets these two factors to put the fundamental pillars of the study process in place. The third parameter is the engineer themselves. Their decisions will shape the final result; the energy efficient building.
Yannas Simos, Solar energy and housing design. Volume 1:Priciples, objectives, guidelines. Architectural Association Publications. London, 1994.
Szokolay, S.V. “Introduction to Architectural Science, The Basis for Sustainable Design”, Elsevier, Amsterdam, 2008.