Building Envelope Design

The building envelope separates the interior from the exterior of a building and is essential in providing climate control and overall building energy efficiency. The building envelope includes the roof, foundation, floor, doors, windows, siding and associated components such as insulation.

Building owners and property managers are not only faced with meeting stringent energy codes, but the general public’s demand for buildings with lower energy consumption, high-performance features, and adjustable interior climate controls has also dramatically increased in recent years. Therefore, the building envelope design is a key consideration to staying competitive while reducing costs.

The building envelope separates the interior from the exterior of a building and is essential in providing climate control and overall building energy efficiency. The building envelope includes the roof, foundation, floor, doors, windows, siding and associated components such as insulation.

Building owners and property managers are not only faced with meeting stringent energy codes, but the general public’s demand for buildings with lower energy consumption, high-performance features, and adjustable interior climate controls has also dramatically increased in recent years. Therefore, the building envelope design is a key consideration to staying competitive while reducing costs.

two engineers discussing plans

Why Is Building Envelope Design Important? 

The building envelope separates the interior from the exterior. This element protects the building’s occupants and contents while affecting the comfort, energy use and ventilation inside. The design of a building envelope impacts many components of a structure, from its maintenance costs to its energy use. The envelope also affects the quality of life on the inside. 

Building envelope design impacts the following:

The building envelope separates the interior from the exterior. This element protects the building’s occupants and contents while affecting the comfort, energy use and ventilation inside. The design of a building envelope impacts many components of a structure, from its maintenance costs to its energy use. The envelope also affects the quality of life on the inside. 

Building envelope design impacts the following:

two engineers discussing plans

1. Building Integrity

The envelope includes the building’s foundation, walls, roof and entry points. Those components also play critical roles in the structural integrity of a building. A foundation needs to support the building while the walls provide stability. The doors and windows should open and close without binding or causing other issues. 

Certain climate conditions can affect the structural performance of the building envelope. Engineers should account for any particular climate issues or other conditions when choosing the materials for a building’s foundation, walls, roof, doors and windows.

2. Moisture Levels

Whether in the form of water or humidity, moisture can cause significant damage to a building. Prolonged exposure to moisture encourages mold growth and affects the strength of building materials, so the design of a building envelope needs to minimize the building’s chances of water incursion or excess humidity. Components that help to control moisture levels include drainage, barrier and diversion systems. 

Barrier systems keep water out by protecting the outer surface of the building. Examples include exterior walls and glass windows. 

Diversion systems direct water away from the building. Examples include downspouts, flashing and gutters. During a rainstorm or as snow melts, the water travels through the gutters and downspouts to an area far from the building.

Drainage systems collect water as it settles and allow it to flow away from the foundation. The French drain is one of the most common examples.

3. Ventilation

The building envelope’s design affects the ventilation or airflow through the structure. Air can lead to condensation and moisture buildup if not adequately controlled. Methods for improving ventilation and controlling a building’s airflow include installing moisture and air barriers, insulating the walls, and sealing doors, windows and other openings. 

Improving a building envelope’s air control also reduces the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the building.

1. Building Integrity

The envelope includes the building’s foundation, walls, roof and entry points. Those components also play critical roles in the structural integrity of a building. A foundation needs to support the building while the walls provide stability. The doors and windows should open and close without binding or causing other issues. 

Certain climate conditions can affect the structural performance of the building envelope. Engineers should account for any particular climate issues or other conditions when choosing the materials for a building’s foundation, walls, roof, doors and windows.

2. Moisture Levels

Whether in the form of water or humidity, moisture can cause significant damage to a building. Prolonged exposure to moisture encourages mold growth and affects the strength of building materials, so the design of a building envelope needs to minimize the building’s chances of water incursion or excess humidity. Components that help to control moisture levels include drainage, barrier and diversion systems. 

Barrier systems keep water out by protecting the outer surface of the building. Examples include exterior walls and glass windows. 

Diversion systems direct water away from the building. Examples include downspouts, flashing and gutters. During a rainstorm or as snow melts, the water travels through the gutters and downspouts to an area far from the building.

Drainage systems collect water as it settles and allow it to flow away from the foundation. The French drain is one of the most common examples.

3. Ventilation

The building envelope’s design affects the ventilation or airflow through the structure. Air can lead to condensation and moisture buildup if not adequately controlled. Methods for improving ventilation and controlling a building’s airflow include installing moisture and air barriers, insulating the walls, and sealing doors, windows and other openings. 

Improving a building envelope’s air control also reduces the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the building.

CMT job site

Types of Building Envelope Design Services 

ECS offers various building envelope design services to help you construct a building that meets energy efficiency requirements and is comfortable to live or work in. We will work with you to design a building envelope that meets local energy requirements and codes as well as applicable moisture and air infiltration regulations. 

Building envelope design services include:

  • Development of standards
  • Definition of owner requirements and basis of design development
  • Design constructability reviews
  • Energy code and energy model analysis
  • Sustainability design assistance and detail development
  • Preparation of bid packages

Please contact us with any questions you have regarding building envelope design.

Types of Building Envelope Design Services 

ECS offers various building envelope design services to help you construct a building that meets energy efficiency requirements and is comfortable to live or work in. We will work with you to design a building envelope that meets local energy requirements and codes as well as applicable moisture and air infiltration regulations. 

Building envelope design services include:

  • Development of standards
  • Definition of owner requirements and basis of design development
  • Design constructability reviews
  • Energy code and energy model analysis
  • Sustainability design assistance and detail development
  • Preparation of bid packages

Please contact us with any questions you have regarding building envelope design.

Why Choose ECS for Building Envelope Design 

Companies rely on ECS for building envelope design for several reasons.

1. Industry Knowledge

Our team has years of experience, certifications and skills needed to bring your project to life. We work to find the most cost-effective design options and help you overcome construction and design challenges.

2. Regular Reports

We stay in touch with you throughout the design process. We know that the building envelope design is the first step in many construction projects and that you need the design in a timely manner. Our team will continually update you on the design process through regular reports to ensure that you always know the status of your project.

3. Reputation

ECS has a strong reputation and a robust professional network. We have invested a great deal of time and effort over the years to develop rich industry expertise, a focus on sustainability and a history of safety excellence. When you partner with us, you can rest assured that you are working with a team of professionals who are fully dedicated to serving the community.

4. A Focus on Service

ECS puts customer service first. We believe that hard work and dedication to our customers create a memorable experience and are the key to our ongoing success. When you come to us for construction support services, you will be assigned to a dedicated manager who will act as your sole point of contact with our company. You will always know who to call when you have a question.

Why Choose ECS for Building Envelope Design 

Companies rely on ECS for building envelope design for several reasons.

1. Industry Knowledge

Our team has years of experience, certifications and skills needed to bring your project to life. We work to find the most cost-effective design options and help you overcome construction and design challenges.

2. Regular Reports

We stay in touch with you throughout the design process. We know that the building envelope design is the first step in many construction projects and that you need the design in a timely manner. Our team will continually update you on the design process through regular reports to ensure that you always know the status of your project.

3. Reputation

ECS has a strong reputation and a robust professional network. We have invested a great deal of time and effort over the years to develop rich industry expertise, a focus on sustainability and a history of safety excellence. When you partner with us, you can rest assured that you are working with a team of professionals who are fully dedicated to serving the community.

4. A Focus on Service

ECS puts customer service first. We believe that hard work and dedication to our customers create a memorable experience and are the key to our ongoing success. When you come to us for construction support services, you will be assigned to a dedicated manager who will act as your sole point of contact with our company. You will always know who to call when you have a question.

Contact ECS for Building Envelope Design Services

Our building envelope consulting services include design, engineering, analysis and additional support to ensure our clients are fully equipped to create safe, efficient structures. To discuss our design capabilities or other offerings, connect with our team online today.

Contact Us
heritage building

heritage building

Notable Projects

  • 845 W. Madison, Chicago, IL
  • Westin Infinite Energy Hotel, Duluth, GA
  • The Trove, Arlington, VA
  • P-913 Communication Center, Virginia Beach, VA

Notable Projects

  • 845 W. Madison, Chicago, IL
  • Westin Infinite Energy Hotel, Duluth, GA
  • The Trove, Arlington, VA
  • P-913 Communication Center, Virginia Beach, VA
heritage building