Energy-Performative Architecture: Working with the Forces of Nature to Optimize Energy Flows and the Impact on Phenomenology of Architectural Form

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Achieving a high level of energy performance in building design necessitates the use of natural forces. In the energy design of a building, concepts are developed which minimize building energy demand while optimizing internal environmental conditions in the spaces. In the form-finding process of building design, these concepts and strategies can generate new architectural forms and lead to new aesthetical qualities in architecture and urban design. They impact on architectural form but also on its phenomenology, where we are less concerned with the appearance of the form and more with how it is experienced. One of the primary tasks of a building design is to create comfortable spaces, and the result of good energy design is a good internal environment, not the systems to achieve it. The approach uses building form, skin and construction to modify the sea of ever-changing conditions the external climate of a particular location offers up and bring it as close as possible to the desired internal environmental condition, thus minimizing the energy demand of the climate control systems. Case studies from recent research and contemporary practice are used to explore these relationships between energy, architectural form and its phenomenology. The virtual dimension and the possibilities for using a supplementary virtual environment to augment the physical one and contribute to increased performance via suitable interactions with the building’s users are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Paradigms of Performativity in Design and Architecture
Subtitle of host publicationUsing Time to Craft an Enduring, Resilient and Relevant Architecture
EditorsMitra Kanaani
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge / Taylor and Francis
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780429021640
ISBN (Print) 9780367076191
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2019

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

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