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Energy Systems Language: An analytical tool for studying the climate adaptation of buildings

Format: Papers, RSD12, RSD12 Papers Pre-release

Simin Tao and Qi Zhang
Since the last century, humans have begun using coal, oil, and other stored-energy sources to supplement solar energy, while pollutants from fossil fuels pose risks to the local and global environment. As more architects and scholars focus on today’s climate and energy issues, numerous environmental simulation tools and standards have been developed. Some studies prioritize mechanical systems over building design and limit buildings to standardized rating system. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a comprehensive contextual system, taking climate, architectural aesthetics, technology, and other relevant factors into account.
From a thermodynamic perspective, the building is an open system, constantly exchanging energy with its environment. Building design can play a crucial role in organizing the energy flow within the environmental system, and an optimized building climatic design can effectively maximize the amount of energy available from the environment. This paper employs the energy systems language as a tool to analyse the climate adaption of buildings and to evaluate their climate strategies through a unified dimensional energy flow. It enables an objective analysis of climate, energy, building form, and human bodies within a integrated system. Additionally, the paper applies the energy systems language diagram to three case studies, including the study of a vernacular house, the design process of an infrastructure building, and the post occupancy evaluation (POE) of a student center building. By doing so, this study provides different scenarios that utilize energy systems language to analyse the relationship between climate, energy and form.
Keywords: energy systems language
climate adaption
climatic design
thermodynamic architecture




Citation Data

Author(s): Simin Tao and Qi Zhang
Year: 2023
Title: Energy Systems Language: An analytical tool for studying the climate adaptation of buildings
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Volume: RSD12
Article No.: pre-release
Host: Georgetown University
Location: Washington DC, USA
Symposium Dates: October 6–20, 2023
First published: 30 September 2023
Last update: no update
Publisher Identification: ISSN 2371-8404

Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design, RSD12

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