Building envelope

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building envelope

[′bil·diŋ ′en·və‚lōp]
(civil engineering)
The interior, enclosed space of a building.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Building envelope

The entire outer shell of a building enclosed by its roof, walls, doors, windows, and foundation. The envelope can minimize temperature gain or loss and moisture infiltration, and protection from colder and warmer outdoor temperatures and precipitation, and it includes both an insulation layer and an air infiltration layer. It is a key factor in the “sustainability” of a building. Common measures of the effectiveness of building envelopes include protection from the external environment, indoor air quality, durability, influx of natural light, and energy efficiency.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved


1. The imaginary shape of a building indicating its maximum volume; used to check the plan and setback (and similar restrictions) with respect to zoning regulations.
2. The folded-over, continuous edge formed by turning the lowest ply of a built-up roofing membrane over the top surface layer; prevents bitumen from dripping through the exposed edge joints and seepage of water into the insulation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
His areas of expertise include performance of building envelope and roof assessments, specialty testing, litigation support, moisture surveys, design, construction oversight and contract administration.
For this reason, the performance of the building envelope should be evaluated during construction to ensure compliance with the design intent.
A well-insulated, airtight building envelope is important for building energy use reduction.
Building envelope standards now require double-glazed fenestration in many climates, minimum visible transmittance/solar heat gain coefficient (VT/SHGC) and simplification of the skylighting criteria.
Building Envelope: Opaque elements and fenestration requirements have been revised to increase stringency while maintaining a reasonable level of cost effectiveness.
The Sustainable Building Envelope Centre in Shotton
These new systems are just one example of how we can extend the life of a roof, and by extension, protect the building envelope," said Gary Thompson, general manager, innovative products and services at Firestone Building Products.
You're in luck - the Department of Energy recently announced a $9 million investment in building envelope technology.
The building envelope is particularly vulnerable to even minor changes in weather conditions.
"Maintaining and improving a building envelope, therefore, represents an increasingly important way of helping us get there."
The latest aluminium window system from building envelope specialist Schuco International combines maximum style with thermal efficiency.
Because the heat is transferred via radiation, the integrity of the building envelope becomes very important.

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