Modern building design is a complex and demanding process. To add to an already extensive list of design considerations, there are increasing client and regulatory pressures to produce higher performing and more energy efficient buildings. Regardless of how much precedence any particular designer may wish to give environmental performance, it is fast becoming one of the industry's primary considerations.
Whilst engineers can help, in most small to mid-sized projects they are not typically the driving force behind the design - they will work with whatever the designers give them and offer ideas or suggestions for improvement. However, decisions made at the very earliest stages often have the greatest impact on the overall performance of a project, regardless of any subsequent tinkering by the consultants.
This means that, to retain control of the design process and drive it forward in the right direction, it is really the designers themselves who must have the keenest understanding of the fundamental criteria and physical phenomenon that govern building performance.
Index of Important Concepts
To assist in this process, the Square One Wiki contains a wide range of background information and technical detail on a growing list of important building analysis concepts. These are grouped into the following categories: