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The impact of building design decisions on energy consumption, occupant health and comfort, and environmental quality is an area where design professionals need complete understanding. Unfortunately, building technology courses at most schools of architecture are typically organized as a series of lectures and examinations, rarely providing an opportunity for integrating design with technology issues. "Hands-on" experiences with real building technologies and performance are rarely provided in the mainstream curriculum. This paper discusses methods for on-site investigation and measurement of building performance through economical, simple, and innovative means available to professionals and students in the design professions and building industry. A brief of the Vital Signs Curriculum Project, an endeavor that challenges designers to adopt a "detective's eye" in examining design intent and building performance through investigations of occupied buildings, is included along with a basic model for field measurement and experiences from recent training sessions.


Authors: Alison G. Kwok, Ph.D.; Walter T. Grondzik, P.E.

Citation: Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Buildings VIII

Keywords: December, Florida, 2001

Citation: Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings VIII