The main decisions concerning thermal comfort and energyefficiency of buildings are made in the early stages of the architectural design. Common practice relies on general indications based on climate analysis and heuristicrules about orientation, thermal mass and so forth. Such an approach usually demands assessment by simulation,deriving in an empirical process of check and see. Another approach would be to think of the building as an adaptive system with a potential to ensure thermal comfort. By decoupling it into its main elements (i.e., climate, comfort criteria and the building itself) and considering the building as a result of design strategies producing specific energy fluxes, it becomes possible to assess the potential of each strategy in a particular context. The starting point is the free-running temperatureof a sketch of the building. The frequency distributionof degree-time is obtained from this temperature and the one ensuing from a design strategy. With this result it is possible to assess the potential of each strategyand their combinations. An example is shown for the tropical climate of Venezuela in the case of using natural ventilation, shading, solar reflection, insulation and thermal mass.
Potential of passive design strategies using the free-running temperature
28th AIVC and 2nd Palenc Conference " Building Low Energy Cooling and Ventilation Technologies in the 21st Century", Crete, Greece, 27-29 September 2007