“After reading this article, you should be able to:
- Define high-performance buildings and discuss the key design elements needed to achieve a high-performance building enclosure.
- Discuss the importance of continuous insulation and air and vapor barriers in designing a high-performance building enclosure.
- Discuss passive design elements that limit solar heat gain.
- Identify unique and diverse users and functions, and how they affect the design and performance of a building.
The Challenge—The Polk Penguin Conservation Center
The Detroit Zoological Society is one of the most sustainable zoos in the United States, recognized by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for environmental leadership, earning their 2015 Green Award. The Zoo continues its commitment to sustainability with the recent addition of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center (PPCC). At 33,000 square-feet, it is the largest facility of its kind in the world and home to more than 80 penguins representing four species. The ultimate challenge to the design team of Albert Kahn Associates and Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects was to create a single, high-performance building housing two very different environments … one for the penguins and the other for humans.
This article provides an overview of what defines a high-performance building, key elements of a high-performance building enclosure design, and how high-performance design was applied to the PPCC.”