Building envelope and solar energy optimization: a new “wizard” for architects
When designing a project, architects are facing more and more constraints on the building’s energy efficiency. Tougher values on insulation and energy consumption are now often combined with compulsory implementation of active solar systems - photovoltaics or solar thermal. With natural lighting, passive and active solar all competing for envelope areas, comparing results of architectural variants becomes more important and at the same time more complex. To help overcome this situation, a renowned “energy balance calculation/certification” software tool has been improved and adapted, proposing a wizard developed to meet a growing demand: obtain a quick feedback on building envelope, energy efficiency and solar strategies, especially in the early design stage, when strategies are defined. The wizard helps fulfilling various norms of different European countries, allowing architects to compare variants during this crucial phase. By simplifying data entry using smart default values derived from appropriate general choices, and by presenting a clear and intuitive user’s interface, this new tool offers practicing architects an easy access to building envelope and solar energy use optimization.