Session 16 Paper 4, Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, 14-15 April 2016
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Renewed interest in reducing building energy use and carbon emissions has refocused attention on glazed building envelopes. The façade can be viewed as 1) an uncontrolled load that drives HVAC sizing, load shape, and energy use or 2) as a provider of occupant amenity, view and comfort, while operating to achieve “net zero energy” performance. These perspectives frame a debate about “what is” (businessas- usual) vs “what could be” (technical potentials), i.e. the chasm between today’s minimally code-compliant glazed façade and the performance of “best design practice” with leading edge technologies. Understanding that gap defines the steps needed to ensure that future facades can reliably deliver energy performance and comfort to building owners and occupants, including new tools for design practice, more effective systems integration and new dynamic systems with intelligent controls, as well as the operational and occupancy challenges remaining to reliably operate advanced facades as net zero energy contributors to buildings.