We all want to live and work in beautiful buildings, but just because it looks good doesn’t mean it works well.
Designs that fail to take building science into account and don’t use a whole building/systems approach are often uncomfortable, unhealthy, inefficient, and typically have systems that are fighting against each other, exacerbating each of these problems. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the space is, if it’s uncomfortable and unhealthy, no one wants to be there.
Unfortunately, this is more often the case than not. Designers don’t typically consider the building science when designing a space or how the building’s systems will interact with each other. Various tradesmen rarely communicate with each other or the designers so that every system is designed and installed separately from all the others.
Everything is Connected! Systems get over or undersized for the building’s needs and do not work together to function optimally or often even correctly. It is necessary to poke holes in the building envelope after the air sealing has been largely completed to install some of the systems. Many don’t understand the importance of air sealing or the building envelope so they don’t bother to properly seal the holes they’ve made. Others do not have the time or finances to fix someone else’s mistake. Therefore, the holes remain, often causing the building owner unexpected problems down the road.
But just because “that’s the way it has always been done” does not mean that that is how it should continue to be done. Designers should incorporate Building Science knowledge and a whole building/systems approach into their designs from the very start.
Everything is Connected! All tradesmen should have at least a basic understanding of building science and how the systems they are installing interact with other systems in the building. They also need to consider the local environment and how all of this affects the building as a whole. In this way we can create Better Buildings that Work.