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Bad experiences with construction quality, the energy crises of 1973 and 1979, complaints about 'sick buildings', thermal, acoustical, visual and olfactory discomfort, the move towards more sustainability, have all accelerated the development of a field, which until 35 years ago was hardly more than an academic exercise: building physics. The societal pressure to diminish energy consumption in buildings without impairing usability acted as a trigger to activate the whole notion of performance based design and construction.
Through the application of existing physical knowledge and the combination with information coming from other disciplines, the field helps to understand the physical performance of building parts, buildings and the built environment, and translates it into correct design and construction.
As with all engineering sciences, Building Physics is oriented towards application, which is why, after a first book on fundamentals a second volume examines performance rationale and performance requirements. Outdoor and indoor climate conditions are described and calculation values are discussed, the performance concept is specified at the building level and at the building envelope level, and heat-air-moisture material properties are defined.