Building Science: Concepts and Application by Jens PohlBuilding Science: Concepts and Application by Jens Pohl

Building Science: Concepts and Application

byJens Pohl

Paperback | February 21, 2011

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With the improved efficiency of heating, cooling and lighting in buildings crucial to the low carbon targets of all current governments, Building Science: Concepts and Applications provides a timely and much-needed addition to the existing literature on architectural and environmental design education. Taking a logical and didactic approach, the author introduces the reader to the underlying concepts and principles of the thermal, lighting, and acoustic determinants of building design in four integrated sections.

The first section explores the thermal building environment and the principles of thermal comfort, translating these principles into conceptual building design solutions. The author examines the heat flow characteristics of the building envelope and explains steady state design methods that form the basis of most building codes. He discusses the sun as a natural heat source and describes the principles of active and passive solar building design solutions.

The second section introduces the scientific principles of light, color, and vision, stressing the importance of daylight in building design, presenting the Daylight Factor design concept and methodology, and discussing glare conditions and their avoidance. It also addresses artificial lighting, delving into the prominent role that electricity plays in the production of light by artificial means and comparing the efficacy and characteristics of the various commercially available light sources in terms of the energy to light conversion ratio, life span, available intensity range, color rendition properties, and cost.

The third section deals with the various aspects of sound that impact the design of the built environment, discussing the nature of sound as a physical force that sets any medium through which it travels into vibration and laying the foundations for the treatment of sound as an important means of communication as well as a disruptive disturbance.

The final section discusses the foundational concepts of ecological design as a basis for addressing sustainability issues in building design solutions. These issues include the embedded energy of construction materials, waste management, preservation of freshwater and management of graywater, adoption of passive solar principles, energy saving measures applicable to mechanical building services, and the end-of-lifecycle deconstruction and recycling of building materials and components.

  • Covers the fundamental building science topics of heat, energy, light and sound
  • Takes a logical and didactic approach, tracing the historical roots of building science
  • Includes summaries of new technologies in solar energy and photovoltaic systems
  • Features a section on the principles of sustainable architecture
  • Website with answers to MC questions testing students' learning

About The Author

Jens Pohl, PhD,  is Professor of Architecture and Graduate Studies Coordinator, Executive Director of the CAD Research Center (CADRC), College of Architecture and  Environmental Design, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, California.

Details & Specs

Title:Building Science: Concepts and ApplicationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9.7 × 7.5 × 0.62 inPublished:February 21, 2011Publisher:WileyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0470655739

ISBN - 13:9780470655733

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Extra Content

Table of Contents


1 Technical Underpinnings in Mathematics and Physics.

1.1 Linear equations.

1.2 Some statistical methods.

1.3 Foundational concepts in physics.

2 Principles of Thermal Comfort.

2.1 Heat transfer between body and environment.

2.2 Some physiological considerations.

2.3 More about individual differences.

2.4 Measurement of the thermal environment.

2.5 Selecting the appropriate index.

2.6 Thermal comfort factors.

3 Thermal Control by Building Design.

3.1 How important is the thermal environment?

3.2 Thermal building design strategies.

3.3 Importance of sunshading devices.

3.4 Radiation through roofs.

3.5 Sun position and orientation.

3.6 Solar design steps.

3.7 Achieving air movement naturally.

3.8 Removal of heat by ventilation.

4 Heat Flow and Thermal Insulation.

4.1 The need for energy conservation.

4.2 How is heat transferred?

4.3 Steady-state heat-transfer assumptions.

4.4 The nature of thermal conductivity.

4.5 Building heat-fl ow calculations.

4.6 Energy conservation standards.

4.7 Insulation and insulating materials.

4.8 The cause and nature of condensation.

4.9 Heat-fl ow calculation example.

5 Solar Energy: The Beckoning Opportunity.

5.1 Opportunities and limitations.

5.2 Two types of solar collection system.

5.3 Flat-plate solar collectors.

5.4 Solar heat-storage systems.

5.5 Sizing a solar hot-water service.

5.6 The degree–day concept.

5.7 Sizing a solar space-heating system.

5.8 Integrating building structure and heat storage.

5.9 Passive solar systems.

6 Light, Color, and Vision.

6.1 Some historical background.

6.2 Light speed and color.

6.3 What is light?

6.4 Light viewed as mechanical waves.

6.5 Measurement units of light.

6.6 Light refl ection, absorption, and transmission.

6.7 The visual field and adaptation level.

6.8 Perceptional constancy.

6.9 The nature of glare.

7 Daylight Design Principles.

7.1 Variability of daylight.

7.2 Quality of daylight and color.

7.3 How much daylight is available?

7.4 Measurement of daylight.

7.5 Model analysis.

7.6 The daylight factor concept.

7.7 Glare from daylight.

8 Artifi cial Lighting.

8.1 Definition of terms.

8.2 Creation of light artificially.

8.3 Functions of the luminaire.

8.4 Light fixtures.

8.5 The lumen method of lighting design.

8.6 The room cavity ratio.

8.7 The PSALI concept.

9 The Nature of Sound.

9.1 What is sound?

9.2 Objective units of sound measurement.

9.3 Addition, deletion, and reduction of sound pressure levels.

9.4 The concept of octave bands.

9.5 Subjective units of sound measurement.

9.6 How do we hear sound?

9.7 Hearing conservation in the environment.

9.8 Sound-measurement instruments.

10 Room Acoustics.

10.1 Refl ection and diffraction of sound.

10.2 Absorption of sound.

10.3 Speech communication.

10.4 Halls for speech and music.

11 Noise Control and Insulation.

11.1 Noise control by legislation.

11.2 Airborne and solid-borne sound.

11.3 Airborne noise insulation.

11.4 Solid-borne noise insulation.

11.5 Noise insulation in practice.

11.6 Common noise sources.

12 Sustainable Architecture Concepts and Principles.

12.1 Human resistance to change.

12.2 Discernible trends.

12.3 Fundamental concepts and definition of terms.

12.4 Assessment of high-performance buildings.

12.5 Energy design strategies.

12.6 Water conservation strategies.

12.7 Closed-loop building materials.

References and Further Reading.

Keyword Index.