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This is the learning section of EcoThinking. Here you can learn how to ecothink. Learning about sustainability focuses on understanding the relationships between the economy, culture and society, and the environment. With this learning hub, we would like to share our knowledge with everyone who is interested. Please, feel free to comment on our articles! We are convinced that knowledge and understanding is the gateway to a more sustainable future on our beautiful blue planet.

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EcoThinking Articles

EcoThinking Glossary

Bioclimatic design

Bioclimatic design considers the local climate conditions during the process of designing a building aiming to provide the best thermal indoor comfort without the need of mechanical means. Basic elements are passive systems which utilise natural sources (for example, sun, air, wind, vegetation, water, soil, sky) for heating, cooling and lighting.

Bioclimatic zoning

Bioclimatic zoning in the context of building design refers to a climate classification which is developed for building design. Many countries whose territory extents over several climate zones have developed such a zoning to establish standards and regulations for energy efficient building design.

Climate change

The term climate change is used to describe the phenomena of rising global air temperatures and changing climate patterns which is mainly caused by human activities. Since the start of the industrialisation, human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy, although deforestation, industrial processes, and some agricultural practices also emit gases into the atmosphere.

Climate-responsive design

Climate-responsive design is used as synonym for bioclimatic design (see above) and refers to the design practice that considers the local climate conditions at site to provide a comfortable indoor environment to the user and to reduce the energy demand of the building.

Cost effectiveness

Cost effectiveness is an economic measures to describe the relationship between monetary input and desired output. In the context of energy-efficient buildings a design measure is cost-effective when the additional investment cost is lower than energy cost savings over the building’s life cycle (see also life cycle cost)

Energy saving scenario

Energy saving or energy efficiency scenarios provide a framework for exploring future energy demand in buildings, under different conditions. The starting point of the analysis is the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario which assumes that the level of energy efficiency in buildings does not improve in the future. An energy savings scenario explores how far the energy demand for buildings can be reduced if specific energy efficiency measures are implemented.