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Passive Design

BIM for Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Curriculum

Key Terms

The following key terms were used in this lesson:

Passive Design

The technique of placing, orienting, and massing a building to optimize the use of the sun and climate to provide natural lighting, heating, and ventilation.

Optimum Building Orientation

The orientation (rotation relative to north) that maximizes the desired effect:

  • In Ecotect Analysis, the orientation that best balances the heat captured from solar radiation during colder months of the year with the additional cooling loads created during hotter months.
  • In Green Building Studio, the orientation that provides the lowest total annual energy cost (considering the cost of fuel for heating and electricity for cooling).

Building Massing

The overall shape of a building, considering the length, width, and height. These factors determine the amount of space enclosed by the building and the surface area of the building envelope.

Shading Device

An architectural, passive, or natural design feature used to block direct sunlight.