Until the first energy crisis of 1973, building physics existed as a shadow field in building engineering, with seemingly limited applicability. While soil mechanics, structural mechanics, building materials, building construction and HVAC were seen as essential, designers only sought advice on room acoustics, moisture tolerance, summer comfort or lighting when really needed or when, after construction, problems arose. Energy was not even a concern, while indoor environmental quality was presumably guaranteed thanks to ever present infiltration, window ventilation and the heating system. The energy crises of the seventies, persisting moisture problems, complaints about sick buildings, thermal, visual and olfactory discomfort, and the move towards more sustainability changed that all. The societal pressure to diminish energy consumptions in buildings without degrading usability acted as a trigger that activated the whole notion of performance based design and construction. As a result, building physics and its potential to quantify performances was suddenly pushed to the forefront of building innovation.
As all engineering sciences, building physics is oriented towards application, which is why, after a first book on fundamentals, this second volume examines the performance rationale and performance requirements as a basis for sound building engineering. Choices have been made, among others to limit the text to a thorough discussion of the heat-air-moisture performances only. The subjects treated are: the climate outdoors and conditions indoors, the performance concept, performances at the building level, performances at the building enclosure level and heat-air-moisture material properties. The book incorporates thirty five years of teaching architectural, building and civil engineers, bolstered by forty years of experience, research and consultancy. Where needed information and literature from international sources has been used, which is indicated by an extensive list with references at the end of each chapter.
The book is written in SI-units. It should be usable for undergraduate and graduate students in architectural and building engineering, although mechanical engineers studying HVAC, and practising building engineers who want to refresh their knowledge, will also benefit from it. The level of presentation assumes that the reader has a sound knowledge of the basics treated in the first book on fundamentals, along with a background in building materials and building construction