Critical Color: the Use of Color in Nature for Energy Performance and Its Application to Building Skins
Brooks, Eric Robert
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This thesis investigates how color could be used as a tool for energy performance. Color in Nature is not used as decoration to be applied to form. It is indeed selected and varied in response to varying physical constraints in nature. Color in Nature is integral to the survival of plants and animals. The objective of the thesis is to develop guidelines for selecting color to design energy efficient opaque building skins under different climatic conditions. The investigations in this thesis are organized under five topics: 1) the physics of solar energy, 2) how plants and animals use color to sustain life, 3) the atmospheric and diurnal effects on incident solar radiation, 4) how color is defined in computer simulation tools, and 5) how the reflected light from opaque colored surfaces change with incident light qualities in the physical world. Utilizing simulation results and empirical data, recommendations have been made to select opaque facade color that is informed by climate and context to aid in energy performance.
- Architecture