The fact that this is a building in the design process provides you with ample opportunities to incorporate some of the basic principles of sustainable design, including passive cooling.
In addition to the obvious, such as insulation, sun orientation, daylighting, and shading, which control and reduce the cooling load, I would highly recommend investigating the possibility of passive cooling through the process of natural ventilation.
- The idea is actually nothing new and has been utilized for hundreds of years by master builders and architects.
- It is based on draft or chimney effect and creating an environment which utilizes systems for the building to ventilate itself by allowing cool air in and letting warm air out.
In practice, it could be as simple as providing openings at the lowest point to bring in the cooler air and letting the rising warm air to the highest points of the interior of the building through openings such as clerestory windows, to create the natural flow of air and ventilation.
- Fortunately, we have the technology to control these openings to open and close as needed for optimum efficiency.
- Utilizing clerestory windows with remote control provides such options while it allows for the daylighting which also reduces the air conditioning load.
For more information:
Read "We're adding a sunroom to our home. Can you suggest strategies for natural heating and cooling?" a Q&A answered by Mark Schrieber.