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Sustainable Design

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Architecture: Sustainability Resources

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Industrial Design: Sustainability Resources

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Building Energy Fundamentals

Understanding heat transfer fundamentals and how they translate into energy flows in a building is critical when designing high performance buildings. Learn about the different forms of heat transfer, material properties like U-factor and R-value, heating and cooling loads, energy use intensity, and the difference between site and source energy.

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Water Resources in Buildings

Water is used inside a building for drinking, cleaning, and sanitation, and outside of a building for landscaping.  In addition, wastewater and runoff must also be managed for a sustainable building site.

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Building Site Location

Part of a building’s sustainability is related to its land use.  Continuing to convert more wild lands and farmlands into building sites is unsustainable, and there is much land area available in cities that can be redeveloped more densely and sustainably.

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Resource Use & Buildings

Buildings use energy, materials, water, and land to create the right environment for its occupants. All of these things cost money – and all of them have an environmental impact.

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Passive Cooling

Just like passive heating, cooling your building using passive strategies is important for reducing energy usage in your building. Specifically, utilizing passive cooling strategies like natural ventilation, air cooling, and shades can reduce your demand for mechanical cooling while maintaining thermal comfort.

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Windows

Heat flow through windows and skylights requires special attention for several reasons. Despite dramatic improvements, these transparent/translucent envelope components still usually have the lowest R (highest U) of all components of an envelope.     

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Green Building Materials

Material selection is full of trade-off decisions, and effective strategies vary widely based on your goals and situation.  Sustainable materials can mean many things, and this page explains some considerations besides the materials’ energy performance.

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Passive Heating

Passive heating uses the energy of the sun to keep occupants comfortable without the use of mechanical systems. These concepts will help you design for passive heating.

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