Impact of passive building design for northern climates

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 · available on-demand

FREE to view
82 minutes

This webinar addresses basic passive design building techniques for minimizing energy use in commercial buildings in northern climates.

Passive design combines fundamental building principles such as orientation, massing and optimal material properties to deliver comfort to building occupants while minimizing the use of mechanical systems. Northern climates present a greater challenge for effective passive design than milder, less humid climates. Learn why passive design in northern climates relies more heavily on applying basic principles.

This presentation quantifies the impacts of basic passive design techniques. It gives the designer a feel for the relative importance of methods such as daylighting, cool roofing and wall mass in cold climates. This presentation also highlights easy-to-use tools (many of which are available at no cost) for designers to apply these techniques to their own designs.

As a result of this presentation, you will be able to:

  • Explain the interactions of buildings and climate
  • Describe how buildings use energy
  • Specify several methods for passively improving the energy performance of a building
  • Present quantitative evidence of the benefits of passive design methods
  • Describe passive design modeling tools

Who should view this webinar?

Architects, engineers, building owners, interior designers, contractors, city planners, code officials, developers and anyone interested in high performance buildings and commercial building design.


  1. Interactions of buildings and climate
  2. How buildings use energy
  3. Methods for passively improving the energy performance of a building
  4. Benefits of passive design models
  5. Passive design modeling tools
  6. Last half hour reserved for live Q&A