Building Envelope Specification
The most basic definition of a building is a man-made structure that isolates the interior from the outdoor environment. The portions of the building that separate the building’s interior from the outdoor environment (e.g. walls, roofs, floors) are often referred to as the building envelope. The envelope protects the interior from rain, snow, wind, and excessive heat or cold; helping to make the interior a safe, comfortable, and productive environment for its occupants. Often, a building’s interior is conditioned with Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) to maximize occupant comfort. There are many important considerations when designing a building envelope. The envelope must be sufficiently strong to support itself. It must effectively keep water or other unwanted environmental materials from damaging the building or its contents. It must be secure enough to keep unwanted pests (or people) out of it. It must be visually appealing. These aspects are all very important and there are numerous texts devoted to each of them. As this book is devoted to building energy modeling our focus will be on the transfer of energy through the building envelope.