Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis, Vol 3, No 3 (2011)

Building Energy and Architectural Form Relationships

Roberts Riekstiņš


Energy efficiency of buildings, of course, is now a major issue in the construction industry. It is being widely examined both among construction professionals and amateurs. There is no doubt that energy efficiency as a key factor in ensuring environmental sustainability will become the main driving force of the construction in the future. Buildings have to become more energy-efficient. This opinion is supported by the existing energy-use balance in Europe, indicating that the housing sector spends almost half of total energy consumption and building sector forms more than a third of total CO2 emissions (Bradley 2010).
While discussing the subject of building energy efficiency, mostly different technical characteristics of buildings and engineering solutions are talked over. However, it has been relatively little examined how energy-efficient design affects the building’s architecturally-aesthetic side, styles of expression and trends in the architect’s profession. We learn that the essence for an energy-efficient building lies in smart modesty (Bokalders, Block 2010) and the rational utilization of materials (aim high – go low). And still – can energy efficient building be expressive, extravagant, and perhaps – even ambitious?
There are many ideas implemented in projects which show that energy efficiency is not an obstacle to large scale architectural ideas. However, in order to combine architectural and artistic ambitions with the principles of sustainability, architects should search for an entirely new approach to architectural expression based on a detailed assessment of solutions applied from environmental point of view. It requires a complex understanding of building shape, applied technologies, energetic benefits and cost parameters.
This article identifies the realised and experimental projects of the world and presents an analysis of classification of buildings according to typology. This publication gives general impression of the amplitude and topicality of the study issue, as well as the diversity applied to the architectural techniques. The article concludes that even creating a building’s shape in a smart way makes it possible to use substantial part of the renewable energy offered by nature.

Article in English

Article in: English

Article published: 2011-06-07

Keyword(s): sustainable architecture; energy efficiency; architectural shape; passive energy; eco-villages; adaptable skin; urban garden; eco tower

DOI: 10.3846/mla.2011.053

Full Text: PDF pdf

Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis ISSN 2029-2341, eISSN 2029-2252
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