Building Envelope Systems - Edward

Journal Entry For
Module 7 - Building Envelope Systems
Feb 8, 2022 4:31 AM
Last Edited
Feb 16, 2022 6:14 PM
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Your Name
Edward Chen

Features of the Building Envelope

The building is oriented toward the northeast. The north and east facades mainly consist of curtain walls, and the south, west sides of the envelope are mostly concrete masonry walls. The WWR of the different sides of the building is as follows:

  • North WWR: 41%
  • East WWR: 67%
  • South WWR: 15%
  • West WWR: 11%

Since part of the building will be underground, the “visible” WWR will be higher.

The two wings of the building have slightly different roofs. The East Wing’s roof is open to public access, with about 25% of the surface covered with a green roof and the rest with solar PV panels. The roof of the North Wing is not accessible to public but has a triangular skylight and the rest covered with PV panels. While I haven’t modelled the HVAC units, they will likely be on the North Wing’s roof as well.

Overall appearance of envelope and roof:


  • coating on walls to prevent moisture
  • plasters - stucco, stone panels, sandstone, limestone, architectural aesthetics (fit with the terrain)
  • metal deck - long span -


I used concrete masonry for the exterior walls because it provides relatively high R-value and thermal mass. These walls mainly face south and west.


The east and north sides of the building have more curtain walls to provide daylight and an open view. The curtain walls will be made of triple-pane low-e glass to prevent heat loss.



Windows on the west and south provide both view and daylight. They also have specialized shades above them that blocks excessive sunlight on summer, especially around noon to early afternoon. The shades extend to about 1/3 window height.


Windows facing east and north (apart from the curtain walls) are installed above eye-level since part of the exterior wall is underground. Thus, these windows are mainly to provide daylight to the offices and spaces at the lower level.


All windows will have triple-pane low-e glass.

Shading Features

As mentioned above, the south and west windows have specialized shades. In summer months, these shades prevent direct sunlight during noon time.


The east and north facing windows and curtain walls have a shading device that is connected to the floor above. It’s relatively short compared to the curtain wall height, considering that the shading requirements for north-facing windows are low.


In some areas, the extended floor/roof also provides shading.