Section 3: Mitigating strategies


Depending on the building elements that mainly drive your building’s performance you need to apply the strategies that will mitigate these effects. The table below lists the main building elements and outlines the strategies you can apply to improve the performance of your building 

To affect these phenomena, modify these design elements:

Building factor

Possible improvements

Wall / Roof / Floor Condition


  • Reduce envelope area (e.g. a more compact building form)
  • Improve insulation levels by adding more insulation to your wall assembly (change R-value or U-factor)

Glazing Conduction


  • Reduce glazing area
  • Improve window insulation by choosing units that have low-e coatings, multiple glazing panes and inert gas fillings (change U-factor)

Solar Gain


  • Reduce glazing area on sun-facing facades
  • Add shading
  • Improve glazing properties by selecting tinted or low-e glazing units  (reduce Solar Heat Gain Coefficient - SHGC)



  • Test out the benefit of improving building tightness. (This is primarily an issue of detailing, and is dealt with as a single “leakage” value in Sefaira.)



  • Specify more efficient lights. (Reduce Lighting Power Density)

Appliances & Equipment


  • Specify more efficient equipment, or install systems that reduce “vampire loads” (power consumed when devices are in “standby” mode). (Reduce Equipment Power Density)



  • Reduce ventilation rate (if appropriate – ventilation rates are often governed by code requirements)
  • Use a mechanical heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or energy recovery ventilator (ERV), which uses exhaust air to pre-condition fresh air.

Daylighting sDA


  • Use narrow floor-plates
  • Add glazing (especially high windows)
  • Improve glazing properties (T-vis, or the amount of visible light the windows let in)

Glare (ASE)


  • Reduce glazing area (especially on sun-facing facades)
  • Add shading


Case studies

Over 500 architects, engineers and specialists have incorporated Sefaira’s building performance analysis into the workflows. For inspiration, here are a few case studies showcasing what they’ve achieved.

Entertainment & Hotel


“Sefaira was extremely valuable in early decision making. The Sefaira plugin in SketchUp allowed us to get a model built in a day, and look at options live with the client.”

Don Posson, PE, Vice President




Academic Office Building

CSU-Pueblo-General-Classroom-1024x718.jpg “Sefaira’s early sustainability analysis allowed us to prove we were meeting the 40% energy optimizations at conceptual design, well before we had the full blown energy model to verify the building’s performance.”

Ara Massey, Sustainable Design Manager




Multi-Family Residential


 “We work with our clients to demonstrate the effectiveness of every strategy we implement and this is where Sefaira has been such an asset in goal setting.”

Sean Quinn, Head of Sustainable Design

10 Design


Design Competition


 “As architects we are responsible for the comfortable climate of the buildings we design. Instead of instantly using technical solutions that are common and within reach, we put effort into finding even better (and cheaper) solutions within architecture — it’s design. That’s how we believe sustainable buildings should be designed. Sefaira is based on trustworthy software that helps to measure our design decisions and helps to guide the design.”

Aldo Vos, Architect and Director



  • You should now be able to  understand how your building is performing, both in energy and daylighting terms.
  • You have learned how to understand in more detail what is driving your building performance.
  • You know what the best strategies are to overcome the most common building performance issues.


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