Building envelope separate the exterior climate from the interior comfort environment. A more positive statement of this by Watt, 1999 is: "buffers or filters external conditions for internal needs".
The building envelope includes all the building components that separate the indoor from the outdoor. Included are the exterior walls, foundations, roof, windows and doors. Visit The outer shell for great basics about the related components at How Your House Works
The performance of the building envelope is impacted by a number of sub-systems, such as heating, cooling and ventilating equipment, plumbing and electrical systems. The interaction of the sub-systems with the components of the building envelope, as well as certain activities of the occupants, can affect the performance of the building envelope
A building's envelope includes its doors, roof, walls, foundation, insulation, seals, and windows. It provides a thermal shell that, if poorly constructed, can leak energy through every component. The concerns of a building envelope include infiltration, exfiltration, solar gains and heat losses through the windows, internal heat transfer, and heat gains and losses through the ceiling, walls, and floor. [http://www.ci.irvine.ca.us/about_irvine/econ-dev/envelope.htm]
WALLS (EXTERIOR): Any member or group of members which defines the exterior boundaries or courts of a building and which have a slope of 60”ć or greater with the horizontal plane, and separates conditioned from unconditioned space. Band joists between floors are to be considered a part of exterior walls.
"A building's envelope includes its doors, roof, walls, foundation, insulation, seals, and windows. It provides a thermal shell that, if poorly constructed, can leak energy through every component. The concerns of a building envelope include infiltration, exfiltration, solar gains and heat losses through the windows, internal heat transfer, and heat gains and losses through the ceiling, walls, and floor. " -- http://www.nrel.gov/buildings/highperformance/building_envelope.html
Currently, understanding moisture transport and improving moisture control in building envelope are the main concerns of the research and industry.
The residential building envelope industry includes builders, building product manufacturers, industry organizations, specialized design professionals, academics, researchers, code bodies, distributors, and contracting firms that contribute to the foundations, walls, and roofs of buildings. As a subset of the residential construction industry, the building envelope industry has been highly successful in the past decade, one of the longest periods of expansion in the past 50 years. Looking ahead, strong demand for housing and remodeling is expected to continue. -- DOE, 2001, Building envelope technology roadmap: a 20-year industry plan for building envelopes;; JCHS, 2000, State of the Nation's Housing: 2000
ASTM Standards (more on Standards: ASHRAE):
E1825-96 Standard Guide for Evaluation of Exterior Building Wall Materials, Products, and Systems
E2099-00 Standard Practice for the Specification and Evaluation of Pre-Construction Laboratory Mockups of Exterior Wall Systems
E2128-01a Standard Guide for Evaluating Water Leakage of Building Walls
More internet resources:
Homeowner Protection Office: What is a building envelope.
BuildingEnvelope.org offers "an online resource providing state-of-the-art information on innovation in advanced facades, heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting systems to support preliminary design of energy-efficient buildings. A worldwide consortium of professionals, universities, and research organizations support this effort and provide information for the site." (free registration required)
Building Envelope Councils in Canada
National Building Envelope Council:
Alberta Building Envelope Council - South - Calgary
British Columbia Building Envelope Council (BCBEC
Ontario Building Envelope Council
Building Envelope Council of Ottawa Region
Quebec Building Envelope Council
- Advanced Buildings
- Excellent: A building professional's guide to more than 90 environmentally-appropriate technologies and practices.
- Annotated Bibliography of the Building Envelope
- "list of over 170 reference materials concerning the design, construction, and maintenance of the building envelope applicable to the context of British Columbia including references specific to the coastal climate"
- Betec-building Environment & Thermal Envelope Council
- a NIBS Council focusing on effective cooperation among public and private interests seeking energy efficient and environmentally responsible homes and buildings.
- Building Envelope theory by Foam-Teck
- good intro and tips on insulating envleop;
- Building Physics and Materials - Technical University of Denmark
- "to improve the basic understanding of materials”® properties with the aim of establishing better modelling tools and of providing a basis for the development of better materials, better production techniques and better methods for maintenance and repair."
- Building Science .com
- "rovides objective, high-quality information about buildings. This resource combines building physics, systems design concepts, and an awareness of sustainability to promote the design and construction of buildings that are more durable, healthier, more sustainable and more economical than most buildings built today."
- Building Science Insights
- A series of publications arising from a series of seminars offered by IRC: Institute for Research in Construction between 1982 and 1992. Each deals with a specific topic and provides scientific and technical information of a practical nature for construction professionals, on: Windows, roofs, walls, fire safety, noise transmission, sealants, coatings and protection systems, lighting, general.
- Building techynologies program - EERE
- research, publications, list of software
- At Harvard, with nice flash intro
- Buildings Envelope Technology Roadmap- BETR
- ”°DOE releases Buildings Envelope Technology Roadmap, and reports on progress fulfilling Window Industry Technology Roadmap.
- "240 of the 250 Canadian Building Digests published between 1960 and 1990 by NRC's Institute for Research in Construction. The topics reflect the diversity of the industry and cover virtually every aspect of design and construction in Canada."
- CIB W40
- "To explore the phenomena of heat, moisture and air transfer in buildings, components and materials; ? To formulate laws governing the physics involved; ? To define, measure and discuss the hygrothermal properties of materials and building components; ? To apply the acquired knowledge to the design, execution and maintenance of buildings " By CIB
- CMHC's Best Practice Guides
- Construction Technology Updates
- "..Practical 4-6 page publications for architects, engineers, specification writers, property managers, builders and building officials. " by IRC/NRC
- Heat, Air and Moisture Interactions
- "Building Envelope and Environmental Control: Part 1- Heat, Air and Moisture Interactions" by M.T. Bomberg and W.C. Brown in Construction Practice
- Home Energy Advisor
- Excellent source for homeowers with many well written information
- IBP- The Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics
- "research, development, testing, demonstration and consulting in all fields of building physics. These include energy saving measures, problems of indoor climate, emissions of building materials, moisture and weathering protection and preservation of buildings and historical monuments. "
- IRC Publications
- "IRCPUBS includes references to all the publications of IRC and its predecessor, the NRC Division of Building Research, since our founding in 1947."
- IRC: Institute for Research in Construction
- "Canada's research, building code development, and materials evaluation services, .. issues that have a large economic impact, assisting industry to innovate and develop technologies that are safe, durable and cost-effective. "
- Journal of Light Construction, JLC Online
- "unbiased coverage of products, materials, and building techniques as well as hands-on management advice". Good articles about all aspects of housing/buildings
- Laboratory of Building Physics, Leuven, Belgium
- "...research and educational activities in the field of heat and mass transfer in building materials, building parts and buildings, the energy use in buildings, building installations and building acoustics. Also research in urban physics is part of our activities.
- NREL High Performance Buildings Research
- "improving commercial buildings by ..."
- ORNL -- Building Envelopes Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- "building envelope research, which focuses on the structural elements that enclose a building (walls, roofs and foundations), and materials research, which concentrates on the materials within the envelope systems (such as insulation)."
- Publications as IBP
- Publications at IBP
- Publications at HPO (Homeowner Protection Office)
- Extensive publications to many home related issues and research (HPO publications and Annotated Bibliography of the Building Envelope
- Residential Energy Code - Seattle
- 10 Chapter, HTML format, interlinked.
- Technical Preservation Guidance
- This site has a nice description of building components, including exterior envelopes and interior walls, with specific references to historical buildings.
- The outer shell
- info about "Shelter is the task of a house's exterior shell: the roofing, siding, windows, doors and related components that provide a barrier between indoors and outdoors." at How Your House Works
- Wall Thermal Performance Calculator
- "an on-line, interactive method for determining the whole-wall R-value for a variety of wall systems and house plans. " byOak Ridge National Laboratory
- Walls and Infrastructure
- excellent introductory info on building envelope (Foundations Wall Structures Roof Structures), as Structural System, a course suplment.