Bioclimatic building design

Bioclimatic building design is a disciplined approach to low environmental impact design that aims to maximize the benefit that can be derived from a site’s natural features, topography and climate, allowing internal comfort conditions to be optimized through the adoption of substantially passive mechanisms to ┬áheat, light, cool and ventilate.

Bioclimatic design strategies include:

  • locating the building in a way that seeks benefit from natural features such as contours or tree shelter belts;
  • providing a dynamic and responsive building envelope that can meet the demands of diverse seasonal and climatic conditions;
  • ensuring maximum benefit from passive solar gain whilst avoiding building overheating;
  • exploiting passive solar cooling techniques where appropriate;
  • optimizing natural lighting and beneficial solar penetration into the building;
  • placing emphasis on passive design features such as sunspaces, atria or conservatories which can function as solar collectors and as thermal buffers;
  • carefully designing window geometry and placement in walls and roofs to optimize daylight and sunlight penetration, and optimizing natural ventilation without incurring draughts;
  • ensuring material selection and element selection that provides optimum levels of thermal mass and thermal insulation.

The objective is a design that meets its multiple spatial, functional, aesthetic and environmental targets by recognizing and responding to diurnal and seasonal changes that occur in the natural environment.