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The Building Environment: Active and Passive Control Systems, 3rd Edition

The Building Environment: Active and Passive Control Systems, 3rd Edition

Vaughn Bradshaw

ISBN: 978-1-118-00813-3

Sep 2010

592 pages



Get the updated guide to active and passive control systems for buildings.

To capitalize on today's rapidly evolving, specialized technologies, architects, designers, builders, and contractors work together to plan the mechanical and electrical equipment that controls the indoor environment of a building. The Building Environment: Active and Passive Control Systems, Third Edition helps you take advantage of design innovations and construction strategies that maximize the comfort, safety, and energy efficiency of buildings.

From active HVAC systems to passive methods, lighting to on-site power generation, this updated edition explains how to strategically plan for and incorporate effective, efficient systems in today's buildings. It covers the underlying thermal theories and thermodynamic principles and focuses on design that enhances the building environment and minimizes the impact on the world's environment. The Building Environment goes beyond the ABCs of HVAC and covers:

  • On-site power generation, including wind turbines, solar photovoltaic cells, fuel cells, and more.
  • Plumbing systems, fire protection, signal systems, conveying systems, and architectural acoustics.
  • Procedures and/or formulas for performing heat loss, heat gain, and energy use calculations, determining the rate of heat flow, calculating solar energy utilization, doing load calculations, and more.
  • Details on the latest building codes and standards references.
  • New information on the sustainable design of building systems and energy efficiency, including new technologies.
  • The latest thinking and data on a building's impact on the environment, indoor air quality, and "sick building syndrome."
  • Design economics, including the payback period, life-cycle cost, comparative value analysis, and building commissioning.
  • A practical on-the-job tool for architects, designers, builders, engineers, contractors, and other specialists, this Third Edition is also a great reference for architecture students who will lead tomorrow's design teams.





Chapter 1: Human Comfort and Health Requirements.

Human Physiology.

Heat Balance.



Environmental Factors.

Thermal Comfort Standards.

Temperature and Humidity Extremes.

Air Quality and Quantity.

Chapter 2: Thermodynamic Principles.

Heat Transfer.


Chapter 3: Thermal Dynamics of Buildings.

Heat Gain and Loss.

Thermal Mass Dynamics.

Moisture Problems.

Chapter 4: Load Calculations.

Heating and Cooling Loads.

Selecting Design Temperature and Humidity Conditions.

Solar Gain Through Fenestration.

Heat Transmission Through the Building Envelope.

Internal Loads.

Outside Air.

Annual Energy Use Calculations.


Chapter 5: A Building’s Impact on the Environment.

Ozone Depletion.

Global Warming.

Energy Conservation.

Green Design/Sustainable Design.

Case Study.

Chapter 6: Active HVAC Systems.

Central Heat Sources.

Central Cooling Sources.

Distribution Media.

Delivery Devices.

Localized Exhaust Systems.

Heat Recovery.

Thermal Storage.

Automatic Controls.

Noise and Vibration.

District Heating and Cooling.

Chapter 7: Passive Methods.

Load Reductions.

Passive Solar Heating.

Passive Cooling.

Case Study.


Chapter 8: Lighting.

Principles of Illumination.

Electrical Lighting.


Emergency Lighting.

Outdoor Lighting.

Chapter 9: Normal Electrical Service.


Service Entrance.

Interior Distribution.

Battery Power Supply.

Utility Demand Management.

Chapter 10: On-Site Power Generation.

Thermal-Source Generation.

Wind Turbines.

Solar Photovoltaic Cells.


Chapter 11: Special Systems.

Signal Systems.

Conveying Systems.


Chapter 12: Plumbing Systems.

Water Supply.

Plumbing Fixtures.

Sanitary Piping.

Stormwater Drainage.

Chapter 13: Fire Protection.

Detection and Alarm Systems.

Exits: Means of Egress.


Smoke Control.

Fire Suppression.


Chapter 14: Architectural Acoustics.

Sound Theory.

Room Acoustics.

Sound Isolation.

Chapter 15: Building Commissioning.

The Commissioning Plan.

Applicable Systems and Equipment.

Chapter 16: Design Economics.

Payback Period.

Life-Cycle Cost.

Rate of Return.

Comparative Value Analysis.

Other Considerations.



  • New title reflects the holistic systems approach (previously Building Control Systems)
  • New chapters on Green Design and building commissioning
  • Expanded coverage of indoor air quality and "sick building syndrome"
  • New instructor's manual
  • New, up to date photographs throughout
  • New discussion of HVAC controls and building management systems 
  • Introduces sustainable design strategies and building construction’s impact on ecosystems
"Offers new material on the environment and sustainability along with a broad survey on mechanical/electrical/plumbing systems in buildings. He favors principle concepts over technical detail, providing enough information so the architect may plan for space and access of each system, and have enough knowledge of terminology and function to coordinate effectively with specialists." (Book News, February 2008)
  • Features non-technical approach to incorporating building systems into designs, without getting bogged down in the details
  • Includes strategies for both active and passive control
  • Enables designers to effectively communicate and coordinate with specialists in HVAC, electrical, lighting, plumbing, and acoustics
  • Includes the latest building codes for architects and specialists on the design team