The benefits of High-Performance Buildings on Indoor Comfort

High performance buildings have a plethora of benefits that can improve the occupant’s well-being & health

Key Design Elements in High-Performance Buildings

High-Performance Buildings are meticulously designed to place occupants in a quiet, draft-free, and thermally distributed environment, ensuring proper comfort and maintaining occupant health and productivity (Hammer & Hand, 2022). These buildings offer comfort for various reasons, including:

  • Airtight Envelope:

These buildings are meticulously planned to possess an airtight envelope, effectively regulating the inflow of air. This control over air movement subsequently manages the transfer of heat and moisture, directly impacting human comfort.

Figure 01

Basic principles of a High-Performance Building with key features

  • Thermal Bridge

A thermal bridge is a building element that intersects the building envelope, enabling the exchange of heat between the interior and exterior. In situations where the building lacks careful design, with insufficient insulation and/or improper wrapping of insulation, multiple thermal bridges may be present. This leads to thermal losses that can result in discomfort for the occupants.

In High-Performance Buildings, thermal bridges are eliminated by thermally isolating the interior from the exterior. This creates a harmonized thermal environment and prevents occupants from adjusting the thermostat. This strategy ensures a reduction in the expenses associated with heating and cooling.

Figure 02

Concept of the thermal bridge between the conventional & High-Performance building

  • Air Draft

High-Performance Buildings are crafted to hinder air drafts from infiltrating the occupant space. The combination of hermetic construction, well-designed windows, and appropriately insulated thermal bridge-free structures guarantees the absence of air leaks. This safeguards occupants from both thermal and physical discomfort.

Figure 03

Concept of the air draft between the conventional & High-Performance building

  • Solar Gain & Window Design

For an improved occupant experience in High-Performance Buildings, the design and positioning of windows should offer views of the surroundings. Furthermore, windows should be fashioned to optimize solar gains while counteracting thermal losses. In certain orientations, excessive solar gain through windows may occur, necessitating the incorporation of shading mechanisms to prevent an excess of heat.

Figure 04

Concept of the window design & optimal solar gain for a conventional & High-Performance Building

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