In the 2008 Landmarks not Landfill: Heritage and Environmental Sustainability Conference, Romas Bubelis, architect for the Ontario Heritage Trust, presented how design and construction techniques from early twentieth century architecture were inherently sustainable. These buildings were built at a time before air conditioning and electricity became widely available and consequently, they harnessed the natural energy from their local microclimate and applied the principles of passive systems in order to be habitable. As sustainability has become a central concern and focus for architecture in the twenty-first century, passive systems have re-emerged as methods to reduce resource and energy consumption. To illustrate the integration of passive systems in early twentieth century architecture, this paper presents case studies of the Canadian Birkbeck Building in Toronto (1908) and the Terry Thomas Building in Seattle, Washington (2008). The Birkbeck Building employed natural ventilation, passive cooling, daylighting, and combined with the building’s durability and adaptability, comprised the Birkbeck Building’s sustainable features. One hundred years later, the same principles of passive systems applied in the Birkbeck Building were integrated into the design of the Terry Thomas Building. Architecturally, the Terry Thomas Building was also designed for future flexibility and adaptability to achieve long-term sustainability. Passive energy strategies of natural ventilation, passive cooling, and daylighting helped the Terry Thomas Building meet the North American, environmental standards from the perspective of the green building rating system for new construction and major renovation, known as LEED-NC. Established by the U.S. Green Building Council, this code, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design—New Construction, has been promoted over the last few years as a new standard and qualification for environmental design in architecture and interior design. This paper illustrates the successful integration of passive systems in new buildings and the resulting environmental benefits.
|Keywords:||Passive Energy Strategies, LEED-NC, Natural Ventilation, Daylighting, Passive Cooling, Environmental Building Design|
Research and Innovation, School of Interior Design, Office of the Vice President, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Scholars Program, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Assistant Professor, School of Interior Design, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada