Building façades play an important role in energy savings, and ASHRAE will address the topic at its Winter Conference, Jan. 18-22, in New York City.

“Façade design is a vital aspect of building, largely controlled by architects as per wishes of building owners,” said seminar chair Kent Peterson, P.E. “However, based on experience of design of several green buildings, it has been found that façade optimization can help reduce as much as 40% of building energy. This becomes an important aspect in developing economies wherein decisions are generally based on first cost with little importance to life cycle cost. Emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China will add over 100 billion sq ft in the next two decades. So better understanding of facade design will go a long way in preserving ecological balance in the world.”

Peterson is chairing a seminar on façades as part of the Technical Program at ASHRAE’s 2014 Winter Conference. “The Façade Odyssey: Solutions for Design of High Performance Buildings” is part of a track focused on systems and equipment. The seminar takes place on Sunday, Jan. 19.

Speakers from different parts of the world will present their experience on the effect of various basic elements in design of the envelope and its effect on building operating energy, carbon emissions, and air-conditioning load. The final part of presentation focuses on future façade solutions.

Speaker John Swift Jr., P.E., of Cannon Design in Boston, will focus on the latest developments in high performance facades in North America, including use of simulation tools by integrated design teams to perform extensive and detailed analysis. He will share case studies on two large research laboratory projects: the New Cambridge Campus for Novartis currently under construction, and a new research building for the CJ Corp. in Seoul, South Korea, designed by the Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design.

Ashish Rakheja, P.E., chief operating officer of Spectral in New Delhi, India, focuses on double façade, phase change materials, and green walls.

“High performance buildings are synonymous with efficient air-conditioning systems and innovative lighting solutions and target minimized operation cost (EUI) but often engineers and architects individually,” Rakheja said. “One of the areas that presents an opportunity is integrated design, where the project team members work in tandem to collectively evaluate the effect of various external parameters rather than approaching it in silos. This requires better understanding of the effect that a simple decision on façade design can play on building energy efficiency and equipment selection.”

Also presenting is Frank A. Mills, P.E., of Low Carbon Design Consultants in the United Kingdom. He will discuss the role of façade design in natural ventilation.

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