Façades Design Strategies in a Warm-Humid Climate to Reduce Thermal Loads in Venezuelan Buildings

  • YEAR
    Sosa, Maria Eugenia
    2006 Conference Papers
    Building and Energy


ABSTRACT: Contemporary architecture of non-domestic buildings in Venezuela has introduced
inappropriate design and technology criteria for the warm-humid climate because of the ineffective
regulations. As a result these buildings are responsible for high energy use and high costs.

These results represent a first exploration for developing a method to evaluate the envelope design
strategies for commercial buildings. It is based on a comparative study of several techniques in west
façades, to evaluate the effect of the selection of opaque and translucent components on the cooling
loads of the air conditioning system and electric lighting. The aim is to provide a method to compare
diverse strategies in the design of the facade, specifying its advantages and relative defects in relation
to the energy efficiency, and also to relate that to environmental impact and the cost of construction
and operation. The façade design strategies are supported by the literature and by ad-hoc simulations,
for the latitude of Venezuela. In facades, the total translucent surface area and the orientation influence
the increase of the cooling loads of the air conditioning system. In west facades, for the same area of
windows, a greater increase of cooling load is observed. A decrease in the cooling load, in a warmhumid
climate, is a result of using windows or curtain walls with spectrally selective glass of low solar
gain. Nevertheless, traditional solutions, such as external shading, balconies and vegetation in
windows, have a significant effect in reducing cooling energy; for they are the most energy efficient and
economic design strategies.


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