Climate Zone

BWk_Cold Desert

Mid-latitude desert. Evaporation exceeds precipitation on average but is less than half potential evaporation. Average temperature is less than 64°F (18°C). Winter has below freezing temperatures.

Begin by selecting Design Strategies below
Design Strategies for BWk_Cold Desert
Cool Roof

Cool roofs are designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof.

Cross Ventilation

Natural ventilation is a passive strategy that uses the natural forces of wind and buoyancy to deliver fresh air into buildings.

Daylighting from Multiple Sides

Daylighting spaces from multiple sides ensure an even distribution of light while reducing the probability of glare.

Earth Sheltering

Earth-protected design uses earth as the main component of a building’s thermal control system.

East/West Shading

East and west facing windows should be protected to reduce heat gains into the building in the morning and afternoon.

Evaporative Cooling Towers

Evaporative cooling towers are useful for cooling buildings and outdoor areas in hot and dry climates.

Form for Cooling

The shape and volume of buildings should be compact and elongated along the east-west axis to reduce heat gain in the summer while maximizing solar exposure in the winter.

Form for Daylighting

In many cases, an optimal floor plan runs east to west, maximizing the glazing area on the north and south facades to allow daylight to penetrate deeper into the interior spaces.

Green Roof

Green roofs provide a rainwater buffer, purify the air, provide roof insulation, regulate indoor temperature, reduce energy consumption, encourage biodiversity in the city and help moderate the heat island effect.

Intermediate Light Shelves

A light shelf is a high-reflecting horizontal surface that allows daylight to penetrate deep into a building.

Night Vent Cooling

Night ventilation is a passive cooling strategy that uses outdoor diurnal temperature swings during the summer and the building’s thermal mass to cool down the interior space through increased outdoor airflow at night, providing cool indoor surfaces and temperatures during the day.

Shading Devices

Shading devices, such as overhangs and vertical fins, are necessary to decrease heat gain from solar radiation during the summer.

Side Daylighting

Windows and wall openings allow daylight and solar energy along the perimeter of a building.

Side Daylighting Controls

Horizontal louvers and light shelves are very useful for daylighting since they can block direct sunlight and reflect light up to the ceiling optimizing daylight and views without glare.

Solar Shading

Solar shading refers to the shading systems used to control the amount of solar radiation and sunlight admitted from the sun into a building.

Stack Ventilation

Stack ventilation can be used to increase ventilation when the breeze is not sufficient.

Building Facades

Climate-responsive building façades filter solar radiation, daylight, and fresh air from the exterior as appropriate based on climate/seasonal variations to improve indoor comfort.

Clerestories and Skylights

Clerestories and skylights are effective strategies for admitting daylight deeper into the building while reducing direct sunlight and glare and maintaining a high level of privacy.