Building environmental impact: Prospect of Double skin Façade integrated energy performance

November 5, 2016

 Globally, the construction industry is a major contributor to socio-economic development and also the largest consumer of energy and natural resources, with buildings and infrastructure construction services liable for around a half of total energy consumption. Construction is one of the largest industries in both developing and developed countries in terms of investment, employment and contribution to GDP. (Unher, 1999). 
The importance of energy consumption and greenhouse gases(GHG) attributable to building operation is well recognized, nevertheless despite that knowledge, energy is also consumed during the manufacture of building materials, transportation and assembly into buildings   maintenance and demolition, until disposal and recycling. These parts have mostly been neglected when the energy performance of buildings are evaluated (Gheewala & Kofoworala, 2009).  
Significant energy consumption can be reduced in a building operation during architectural design if identified energy consuming building components is corrected. A well designed façade, however proven to be one of most important method of saving energy in a building. Conventional building skin façade are known to have numerous flaws, related to thermal comfort, natural ventilation and glare. Thus double skin façade (DSF) is considered optimally one of the best choices in managing the interaction between the outdoors and indoor spaces (Shameri, Alghoul, Sopian, Zain, & Elayeb, 2011).   
Recently, DSF has received great deal of attention as opposed to the typically glazed curtain wall. In fact it has become worldwide modern building practice, notably in cool climate region. Firstly, because of its transparency, that creates close contact to the surrounding. It can be considered as architecture sensations driven by all-glass façade. Secondly, design of DSF is characterized by its ability to significantly reduce energy consumption and save costs but yet influenced by parameters such as glass selections, the interior façade, solar radiation level, ventilation strategy, shading, daylighting, aesthetic, wind loads, depth of the cavity, maintenance and cleaning cost prospects. Besides, one of DSF main design goal is related to energy efficiency and sustainability (Gratia & Herde, 2006). It has been claimed however that DSF costs more than the normal façade, but energy and productivity savings are used to justify recompensing the expenditure (Poirazis, 2004). 
In the midst of all these rhetoric, building is designed for people and to succeed,

designer must also provide Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) that suit their intended occupants. 


Because sustainability and good design are mutually reinforcing, thus building performance is expected to compound energy efficiency, occupant comfort and environmental consideration (Roulet, 2006). Building design is one of the fields that have the ability to satisfy all levels of requirement in a unique position both considering environment and local climate, thus implies multi-criteria analysis (Oktay, 2002).

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