AIA+2030 Online Series Course 3: Accentuate the Positive: Climate Responsive Design

Explore using climate data and site characteristics to conduct climate analyses, which can inform building design and lower energy loads.


Energy efficient design embraces the climate when beneficial, and minimizes unwanted environmental conditions. In this session, we’ll explore using climate data and site characteristics to conduct climate analyses, which we can use to inform building design and lower energy loads. This will set the stage for future courses that will address specific design strategies in more detail.

In this course we cover the key elements of climate analysis. We discuss climatic factors that affect both a building’s performance and occupant comfort. We also decipher the “mysterious” psychrometric chart, which allows us to consider both climate and comfort together. Finally, we explore ways in which climate affects design decisions about site and program, as well as where to look for hidden opportunities during this phase to increase efficiency.

The AIA+2030 Online Series is an AIA and Architecture 2030 co-production, sponsored by Autodesk and delivered through AIAU.

It's based on the highly successful AIA+2030 Professional Series, which was created by AIA Seattle and Architecture 2030, with support from the City of Seattle and Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.

Learning objectives

  • Explain why climate responsive design reduces the energy load of a building.
  • Explain the utility of tools such as wind roses, sun path diagrams, and climate data files to inform building design and energy usage. 
  • Discuss the effects of climate analysis on site and program decisions and influence on energy usage and decisions.
  • List the site and climate factors that impact a building's performance.



This course is part of a series

User rating:
Average: 4.6 (484 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW
  • RIBA


  • AIA+2030 Instructors

    AIA+2030 Online Series Course 1: The 2030 Challenge: Goals and Design Processes Edward Mazria, FAIA...