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Terms for Architecture, Green Building & Energy

This glossary includes more than 300 solar terms, as well as hundreds of additional sustainable design and construction terms.

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Definition: The total thermal conductance of a building assembly (wall, floor, ceiling, etc.), including the indoor and outdoor air-film resistance of the assembly. The U-value when multiplied by the effective temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors, including the effects of solar and sky radiation (the "sol-air" temperature) where appropriate, will yield the normalized (per unit area) heat flow across that building composite. The units of U-value are Btu/hr-ft2-oF.