Meta-Design Approach to Environmental Building Programming for Passive Cooling of Buildings

  • Giacomo ChiesaEmail author
  • Mario Grosso
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


Sustainable design practices are being disseminated all around the world, thanks to a growing interest by users, builders, and politicians in facing the impact of climate changes and the need for a more sustainable future. Nevertheless, although design practices include currently green issues and technologies, these are applied mainly in the last design phases in order to comply with local and/or national regulations and requirements (e.g. minimum values for the energy demand to be covered by renewable sources and for the envelope transmittance). Instead, to integrate sustainable technologies in an energy- and cost-effective way, it is necessary to deal with them since the earliest design phases, i.e. building programming and site analysis. Furthermore, passive and hybrid technical building systems (TBS) are dependent on the specific project context, and this is even more apparent for cooling. In fact, while the performance of passive heating TBS is mainly related to solar access and reduction of energy losses, the one of space cooling TBS depends on other variables such as internal heat gains, heat capacity, and wind environment. The paper describes a methodology to assess the energy-saving potential of passive ventilative systems in the earliest design phases. Site and climate aspects, together with definitions of needs and requirements for building programming, will be described. Results from an application of a method based on Givoni-Milne bioclimatic chart to evaluate the climate-dependent potential of passive system are reported. Criteria for spatial and technological integration of passive cooling systems are also presented.


Meta-design Environmental design Building programming Passive cooling Architectural technology 


  1. 1.
    Cuce PM, Riffat S (2016) A state of the art review of evaporative cooling systems for building applications. Renew Sust Energ Rev 54:1240–1249CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zouaoui A et al (2016) Open solid desiccant cooling air systems: a review and comparative study. Renew Sust Energ Rev 54:899–917CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Santamouris M (2016) Cooling the buildings – past, present and future. Energ Buildings 128:617–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Harvey LDD et al (2014) Construction of a global disaggregated dataset of building energy use and floor area in 2010. Energ Buildings 76:488–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Logue JM, Sherman MH, Walker IS, Singer BC (2013) Energy impacts of envelope tightening and mechanical ventilation for the U.S. residential sector. Energ Buildings 65:281–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Daikin Industries (2015) Air conditioning is on the rise. Retrieved from
  7. 7.
    Adnot J (ed) (1999) Energy efficiency of room air-conditioners (EERAC), study for the directorate general for energy (DG XVII) of the Commission of the European Communities, LuxemburgGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Isaac M, van Vuuren DP (2009) Modeling global residential sector energy demand for heating and air conditioning in the context of climate change. Energy Policy 37:507–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Santamouris M, Asimakopolous D (eds) (1996) Passive cooling of buildings. James & James, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Santamouris M (ed) (2007) Advances in passive cooling. Heartscan, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Cook J (ed) (1989) Passive cooling. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Grosso M (2017) Il raffrescamento passivo degli edifici in zone a clima temperato, 4th edn. Maggioli, Sant’Arcangelo di RomagnaGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Grosso M, Scudo G, Piardi S, Peretti G (2005) Progettazione ecocompatibile dell’architettura. Esselibri, NapoliGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Grosso G, Chiesa G, Nigra M (2015) Architectural and environmental compositional aspect for technological innovation in the built environment. In: Gambardella C (ed) Heritage and technology. Mind, knowledge and experience. Scuola di Pitagora, Napoli, pp 1572–1581Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    UNI 7867-4/1999. Edilizia. Terminologia per requisiti e prestazioni. Qualità ambientale e tecnologica nel processo edilizio. And the updated version UNI 10838:1999. Edilizia – Terminologia riferita all’utenza, alle prestazioni, al processo edilizio e alla qualità ediliziaGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chiesa G, Grosso M (2017) Environmental and technological design: a didactical experience towards a sustainable design approach. In: Gambardella C (ed) Worlds heritage and disaster. Knowledge, culture and representation, La scuola di Pitagora, Napoli, pp 944–953Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cavaglià G, Ceragioli G, Foti M, Maggi PN, Matteoli L, Ossola F (1975) Industrializzazione per programmi. Strumenti e procedure per la definizione dei sistemi di edilizia abitativa. RDB, PiacenzaGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Chiesa G (2016) Model, digital technologies and datization. Toward and explicit design practice. In: Pagani R, Chiesa G (eds) Urban data. Tools and methods towards the Algorithmic City. FrancoAngeli, Milano, pp 48–81Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Council Directive 89/106/EEC of 21 December 1988 on the approximation of laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to construction products (89/106/EEC) (OJ L 40, 11.2.1989, p.12) Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    UNI 8289:1981. Edilizia. Esigenze dell’utenza finale. ClassificazioneGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    UNI 11277:2008. Sostenibilità in edilizia – Esigenze e requisiti di ecocompatibilità dei progetti di edifici residenziali e assimilabili, uffici e assimilabili, di nuova edificazione e ristrutturazioneGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Chiesa G, Grosso M (2017) An environmental and technological approach to architectural programming for school facilities. In: Sayigh A (ed) Mediterranean green buildings & renewable energy. Springer, Amsterdam, pp 701–715CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Milne M, Givoni B (1979) Architectural design based on climate. In: Watson D (ed) Energy conservation through building design. Mc Graw Hill, New York, pp 96–119Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Givoni-Milne bioclimatic chart 1981. In Diamond S., Crow G. and Shafer B. (1993). Climate and site. In Watson (ed) The energy design handbook. the American Institute of Architects, Washington, DC, p 25Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Liggett R, Milne M (2016) Climate Consultant 6.0, UCLA Energy Design Tools Group, Department of Architecture and Urban Design, University of California, Los Angeles – software, retrived from Scholar
  26. 26.
    Chiesa G (2017) Turkey MBEPS: Climate environmental strategies towards nZEB, IV research report, Politecnico di Torino Consultancy for the Provision of Services for developing minimum building energy performance standards (MBEPS) and nearly zero energy buildings (nZEB) approach for Turkey – UNEPGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Chiesa G, Grosso M (2015) Geo-climatic applicability of natural ventilative cooling in the Mediterranean area. Energ Buildings 107:376–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Chiesa G, Grosso M (2017) Cooling potential of natural ventilation in representative climates of central and southern Europe. Int J Vent 16(2):81–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Chiesa G (2016) Geo-climatic applicability of evaporative and ventilative cooling in China. Int J Vent 15(3–4):205–219Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Pellegrino M, Simonetti M, Chiesa G (2016) Reducing thermal discomfort and energy consumption of Indian residential buildings: model validation by in-field measurements and simulation of low-cost interventions. Energ Buildings 113:145–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Flourentzou F, Bonvin J (2017) Energy performance indicators for ventilative cooling. In: Proceedings of 38th AIVC conference, 13–14 September 2017, Nottingham, (in press)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politecnico di Torino, Dipartimento di Architettura e DesignTorinoItaly

Personalised recommendations