BUILDING SERVICE SYSTEMS
M. Colomban, M. Zobec and M. Kragh
The present paper deals with the complex relationship between architectural intensions, indoor environment, building envelope and environmental systems, energy performance and design process. The development of architecture and the construction industry is discussed with focus on the way design used to be adapted to, and responsive to, local climatic conditions and later on, with commercialisation neglected these aspects and relied on mechanical systems for fully air conditioned buildings. This development resulted in energy consuming buildings with poor occupant comfort. The paper introduces Blue Technology, which is based on integrated design of building envelope and environmental systems, facilitating design of buildings with high levels of occupant comfort and reduced energy usage. Problems and solutions pertaining to transparent building envelopes and the need for integrated design are discussed. Moreover, the financial incentives in terms of tax legislation and potentially increasing productivity are introduced, supplementing the performance related aspects. At the Permasteelisa Headquarters in Italy, a series of full-scale test rooms have been set up in order to test and demonstrate different combinations of façade and environmental system technology. The test room activities are described and a case study is presented as an example of innovative thinking and the potential of an integrated design approach. Finally the recently established architectural Internet portal BuildingEnvelopes.org is introduced. In recognition of the need for dissemination of knowledge and guidance, the portal is dedicated to building envelopes and environmental systems and will constitute an important point of reference for the future.