Posted by Manuel Oliveros on December 10, 2002 at 10:21:51:
In Reply to: buildings and energy consrevation.................. posted by kc on December 10, 2002 at 09:24:42:
The case is that many traditional ways of construction were eocnomical and adequate for the era and place. However the apparition of industrial means of production change all this, and having technologies that enable us to do proper analysis of the energy flow also do.
The field as you indicate exceeds our duties as architects, we see a whole world of business energy out of our hands and empowerment. By this time, and in moderately advanced countries there are regulations about what specific conditions the buildings need meet in order to be approved, and targeted to produce buildings that are economical in energy use.
The best reference I have for architects on this is the Stein Reynolds manual on mechanical services for architects edited by Wiley. For specific issues I have more, and of course the web will meet far more exacting needs about these things.
Then one of the problems I find about is that because the specific scope of our field of interests, the picutre is not complete, typically (it is because that that legislators help us by simplifying -or complicating- the energy conservation requirements to some simpler rules).
In the end one can get enthralled by traditional ways of construction that produced comfort in then proper manner to then find these things shouldn't be reapeated anymore because the technologies have been superseded by others we have that are more efficient, and the efficiencies that were built-in are now well understood and explicited, and you may find in books related to environmental construction.
For the constructors of big buildings this is an area of technological interest, normally far from eco-views (not always). The energy schedule is studied for the case according with past experience and some forecast of what in the future may happen, and a number of what-if cases may be studied and/or an automaton devised to ensure proper management of the energy budget in terms of money expense. This effort is usually not warranted for minor buildings, since the sophisticated tools are not normally in the area of the what we could label the public domain expertise, i.e., specialty firms do usually these works (I mean, when theay are not merely filling some forms to satisfy some authority).
So for these minor works it is again the architect according to his knowledge who can make significant imprint on if what will be built is going to be energetically efficient (this may also be the case with big buildings, but there the effort requires more cooperation).
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