Building Envelope

Photo by Andreas Lechtape, courtesy NBK Architectural Terracotta

OVERVIEW

The building envelope protects us from the elements, enables comfort, and ultimately allows us to be at home in our houses, to be productive at the office, to learn in school, or to heal in the hospital.

A building envelope—also commonly called a "building enclosure," should:

  • support comfort

  • manage moisture

  • not poison us or the planet

  • allow us to breathe clean air

When possible, it should do all this while using resources effectively—durably, energy-efficiently, and with low embodied impacts.

Here you’ll find strategies for envelope design and material selection that help balance all these demands and more.

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  • The Building Envelope: Innovations in Planning, Materials and Budgets

    Webcast

    Alex Wilson, founder of BuildingGreen and director of the Resilient Design Institute, recently completed a zero-energy retrofit of an old Vermont farmhouse. In this webcast, Alex and his designer-builder, Eli Gould, review their nuts-and-bolts experiences and lessons learned with innovative products and systems, with a focus on the building envelope.

  • Healthy Insulation, Buildable Details

    Webcast

    In a one-hour on-demand webcast, architect Steve Baczek and BuildingGreen's Peter Yost will give you real-world examples of how to select insulation materials that fit big-picture environmental concerns—and how to incorporate them into actual assemblies that meet the highest standards of performance.

  • Introduction to High-Performance Building Assemblies

    Webcast

    In a one-hour on-demand webcast, acclaimed teacher and consultant Peter Yost will give you the building science knowledge and practical guidance to start getting higher performance from your building assemblies.