Energy-Performative Architecture

Working with the Forces of Nature to Optimize Energy Flows and the Impact on Phenomenology of Architectural Form

Authored by: Brian Cody

The Routledge Companion to Paradigms of Performativity in Design and Architecture

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367076191
eBook ISBN: 9780429021640
Adobe ISBN:


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Achieving a high level of energy performance in building design necessitates the use of natural forces. In the energy design of a building, concepts are developed which minimize building energy demand while optimizing internal environmental conditions in the spaces. In the form-finding process of building design, these concepts and strategies can generate new architectural forms and lead to new aesthetical qualities in architecture and urban design. They impact on architectural form but also on its phenomenology, where we are less concerned with the appearance of the form and more with how it is experienced. One of the primary tasks of a building design is to create comfortable spaces, and the result of good energy design is a good internal environment, not the systems to achieve it. The approach uses building form, skin and construction to modify the sea of ever-changing conditions the external climate of a particular location offers up and bring it as close as possible to the desired internal environmental condition, thus minimizing the energy demand of the climate control systems. Case studies from recent research and contemporary practice are used to explore these relationships between energy, architectural form and its phenomenology. The virtual dimension and the possibilities for using a supplementary virtual environment to augment the physical one and contribute to increased performance via suitable interactions with the building’s users are also discussed.

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