6 Principles For Good Building Design I Top Tips For Architects

6 Principles For Good Building Design

6 Principles For Good Building Design

Here, we will focus on the architectural building design and construction conditions that influence the energy performance of a home.

An accepted definition of housing is “the closed and covered space that is built to be inhabited by people, to offer them shelter and protection in adverse weather conditions and privacy and space in which to develop their daily activities.” Designing and building such a space is relatively simple, although the challenge is to do it efficiently.

Factors That Influence Energy Efficiency

6 Principles For Good Building Design
6 Principles For Good Building Design

Type For Building Design

The geometry or exterior shape of a building must be related to its geographical location. The characteristics of a region as well as the conditions of rain, sun, wind, etc. condition the buildings, giving rise to flat or sloping roofs, flat facades, with protrusions and large holes or blinds. It will be a conditioner that will influence the other factors that improve efficiency and are considered a passive factor, since it influences the formal aspect of the property, not modifiable after its construction.


As we have influenced in previous articles, the orientation is essential for the good design and energetic behavior of a house. In case of exempt buildings, and in lots where we have a certain location library, we will start from an ideal orientation with the facades of the buildings towards the four cardinal points. From here, we will locate the spaces and “rotate” the building according to the needs and wishes of the user. In practically the entire Spanish geography, the facades located to the south and west get protection from the sun and heat, and the east and north protected from cold and humidity. This will lead to different treatments of holes, cornices and, in general, facade design. In cases of not being able to freely orient the buildings (more usual),

The Need To Plan For Ventilation While Preparing Building Design

It is closely related to the orientation and typology and is, without a doubt, the most important factor for the good energy performance of a home. For a good design of the dynamic ventilation of a house, it is necessary to study previously the climatic conditions in the area, especially regarding the prevailing wind and relative humidity. For efficient behavior, it is necessary to create a balance of indoor temperature and humidity, so that air renewal plays a fundamental role. Likewise, it is necessary to renew the air in the insulating chambers of the building envelope, such as air chambers in facades, sanitary chambers in floors or chambers undercover.


As mentioned above, it is important to treat the envelope according to its location and orientation. This is called passive building protection. It is usual not to take these elements into account when designing homes (especially multi-family), being very expensive and inefficient to implement alternative solutions a posterior. Examples of passive elements are cornices and eaves of sun protection to the south and west, covered with a greater inclination in rainy areas, creation of chambers or galleries on the facades, to treat ventilation and humidity, etc.


In a house, there are spaces of eminently day and night use. However, within the daytime, there are the living room, dining room, kitchen, distributors or accesses, and terraces. Inside the night rooms are the bedrooms. Both in some and in others, differentiated activities are carried out in time and form. Thus, a good distribution of housing should reflect this differentiation clearly. Moreover, the day areas should be grouped and separated from those at night as far as possible. In addition, the day zones will be located in the sunny orientations. They leave the night zones to the north and east.

Materials For Building Design

6 Principles For Good Building Design
6 Principles For Good Building Design

It is important above all, for the correct application of the different materials that make up the building. They will be materials for the environment, with a low level of maintenance and degradation to weather agents. Likewise, easy replacement in case of breakage is a factor. The application of insulating and waterproofing materials deserves special attention since the subsequent energy performance of the house will depend on them. The type, thickness, and arrangement in the envelope of each material must undergo calculation depending on the geographical area and the type of building.

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