Based on global warming, decline of existing energy resources, exponential population growth, increasing geopolitical instabilities which are the result of uncertainty of the future energy supply, together with the fact that buildings represent about 40% of total energy consumption worldwide leads to a conclusion that a good architecture is not possible without a good energy concept.


    The buildings represent the bigger part of one of the biggest problem of our society - fair distribution of available resources. Therefore architecture can be a big part of the solution. Never before in the history of our civilization architecture had such a chance to gain one of the central roles in the society. Good architecture is always representing the expression of the cultural values, priorities and hopes of a society. Now it can produce a physical response for the existential challenges.


    A sustainable development by definition cannot get along with the decay in architectural quality of our built environment. A building with low architectural quality and good energy concept is not an actual benefit for a sustainable future. The objective of research and teaching at the Institute is the maximization of energy performance of buildings and cities, and the development of architectural and urban projects through form and structure optimization toward energy efficiency.

  • TEAM

    Head of the Institute

    Brian Cody



    consultation-hour - wednesday 11:00 - 12:00


    Project Assistant/Lector

    Sebastian Sautter



    Martin Schneebacher


    Student assistant


    Office hours

    Monday - Friday, 09:00 - 12:00



    Aleksandar Tepavcevic

    consultation-hour - friday 11:00 - 12:00



    Alexandru Dan


    Student assistant



    Christiane Wermke



    Minoru Suzkuki


    Student assistant



 / E

Double Skin Building Envelopes and their impact on the HVAC Systems and energy efficiency of Buildings

Prof. Brian Cody






Fields of reference

Building Performance



 Case studies were used in order to examine the impact on designing and dimensioning of building service systems as well as the overall energy efficiency of buildings. The essential outcome of this research was the understanding that the energy efficiency of buildings with double skins depends on whether the double skin facade allows the elimination of building services i.e. mechanical ventilation. If this is not the case, it can take up to 25 years for the initial manufacturing energy of the second skin to redeem through operation energy savings. However, if a complete building service system can be eliminated by constructing a second building skin, the payback time can be reduced to a reasonable time frame, in some cases even within two years. The investigated case studies clearly show, a highly efficient double skin facade not only can improve the energetic building behavior but also help reduce investment costs of building services significantly. That is why the economic efficiency of such a measurement should not only be evaluated towards the potential to reduce costs for energy but also in correlation of a possible reduction of investment costs for HVAC- systems in the building. A mere reduction in size of building services more often than not have not happened on a noteworthy scale in terms of savings.



November 2004 – October 2005



Cody, B.: “Double skin building envelopes and their impact on the HVAC systems and energy efficiency of Buildings”, Conference Proceedings, 8th REHVA World Congress Clima 2005, Lausanne, Schweiz, 2005


Cody, B.: „Double Skin Building Envelopes, Building Energy Performance and Architecture”, Conference Proceedings, European Conference and Cooperation Exchange 2006, Sustainable Energy Systems for Buildings: Challenges and Chances, Arsenal Research, Wien, Österreich, 2011


Cody, B.: „Energieeffizienz in Gebäuden“, in: VDI Berichte 2034, Fassaden - Blick in die Zukunft, VDI Verlag, Düsseldorf, Deutschland, 2008



More info: tug online

copyright - Institut für Gebäude und Energie , TU Graz, 2016