IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

6.4.1 Overview of energy efficiency principles

Design strategies for energy-efficient buildings include reducing loads, selecting systems that make the most effective use of ambient energy sources and heat sinks and using efficient equipment and effective control strategies. An integrated design approach is required to ensure that the architectural elements and the engineering systems work effectively together. Reduce heating, cooling and lighting loads

A simple strategy for reducing heating and cooling loads is to isolate the building from the environment by using high levels of insulation, optimizing the glazing area and minimizing the infiltration of outside air. This approach is most appropriate for cold, overcast climates. A more effective strategy in most other climates is to use the building envelope as a filter, selectively accepting or rejecting solar radiation and outside air, depending on the need for heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting at that time and using the heat capacity of the building structure to shift thermal loads on a time scale of hours to days.