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 heat, 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.