A home’s “building envelope” is a key part of its defense against the weather, harsh conditions, and an uncomfortable living environment. It is an abstract term which defines the most practical and minute components that, together, create a livable and durable enclosure.
In a broad sense, think of the home’s envelope as the “outline” or silhouette of a house. It is comprised of the connecting exterior layers that separate the indoors from the outdoors. The graphic to the right shows an outline of a home, as well as its many fenestrations.
Roofs, walls, windows, and doors are the primary components of a building envelope. However, the term applies to any additional openings or barriers (air conditioners, chimneys, doggy doors, etc.) that bridge the gap between the natural outdoors and the constructed indoors.
Every aspect of a building envelope has a role to play in keeping a home secure, comfortable, and controllable.