The building envelope is one of the most important parts to any home and one that needs to be considered the most for energy efficiency and durability. It is the physical separator between the interior and the exterior environments of a building. It is the interface between the interior of the building and the outdoor environment, and serves as the outer shell to help maintain the indoor environment and facilitate it's climate control. The design of the building envelope involves many considerations. Both indoor and outdoor materials need to be durable, easy to maintain and affordable. The structure is one of the most obvious functions of the building envelope and is vital to the high performance of a home. Solar gains, air leaks, moisture control and thermal (conduction) losses and gains are all affected by the design and construction of the building envelope.
Of all the building envelope components, the most important is the fenestration (windows and skylights). Fenestration or window design, including the size and placement, affects day-lighting opportunities, solar gains, cooling loads and glare.
At SunBear we like our clients to make informed choices about the materials that go into their homes that best accomplish their needs. Building materials, window choices and placement, as well as orientation of the home all need to be considered that most benefits our clients needs. Here are some of the most popular choices Brian has used in past projects that are sustainable, energy efficient, and create a beautiful home.