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Nearly 40% of the energy produced in the U.S. is used for building operations. The near-central role of buildings in the global climate and energy scenario makes it crucial for architects, engineers and building owners to take appropriate action. These stakeholders can help reduce the carbon footprint of the building through strategic design decisions.
Conventionally, the active modes of heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting utilize energy-intensive electrical processes. On the other hand, passive measures help maintain indoor thermal comfort using the inherent physical and thermal properties of the building envelope and its surroundings
Typically, a well-designed and well-operated building uses envelope-level passive measures to minimize the thermal loads first. Then, it uses energy-efficient active modes of heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting. This article highlights 4 key envelope-level passive strategies to implement for decarbonizing building systems.