Guide to Mechanical / electrical equipment for buildings: DESIGN CONTEXT

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Applications of Computer-Aided Manufacturing

Often mechanical and electrical equipment for buildings is not considered until many important design decisions have already been made. In too many cases, such equipment is considered to have a corrective function, permitting a building envelope and siting to "work" in a climate that was essentially ignored.

Part I is intended to encourage designers to use the design process to full advantage and to include both climate and the key design objectives of comfort and indoor air quality in their earliest design decisions. Section 1 discusses the design process and the roles played by factors such as codes, costs, and verification in shaping a final building design. The critical importance of clear design intents and criteria is emphasized. Principles to guide environmentally responsible design are given. Section 2 discusses the relationship of energy, water, and material resources to buildings, from design through demolition. The concept of environmental footprint is introduced as the ultimate arbiter of design decision making. Section 3 encourages viewing a building site as a collection of renewable resources, to be used as appropriate in the lighting, heating, and cooling of buildings. Section 4 discusses human comfort, the variety of conditions that seem comfortable, and implications of a more broadly defined comfort zone. It includes an introduction to design strategies for lighting, heating, and cooling. Section 5 introduces the issue of indoor air quality, which is currently a major concern of building occupants and the legal profession and an underpinning of green design efforts.

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