Integrated life-cycle design of building enclosures
Mora, Rodrigo (Rodrigo Mora (Rodrigo_Mora)) (author)
Bitsuamlak, Girma (author)
Horvat, Miljana (author)
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
In spite of the progress in developing methods and tools to support sustainable building design, there is still a lack of a formal approach to bridge the "no man’s land” gap between the traditional building engineering disciplines, and between these and the architecture, to achieve the level of building integration required for sustainability. This paper presents an integration framework that aims at facilitating the inclusion of life-cycle considerations in the design process from the outset, so that materials and systems are selected not only from environmentally friendly resources, but most importantly, to match service life performance expectations. The framework describes an iterative methodology to evaluate these expectations in practice, which is based on an understanding and modeling of the dynamics of the built environment to which materials, components, and systems are exposed. Quantitative methods and test protocols can be incorporated into the framework for assessing function-performance aspects of alternative solutions. Due to its complexity stemming from its inherent exposure to variable environmental loads and its multi-functionality, the framework focuses on addressing the life cycle of the building enclosure system. It is expected that the organization of the underlying principles of building life-cycle performance described in this paper will become a knowledge core that will facilitate a more integrated treatment of buildings in research, education, and practice.