Bioclimatic Construction – mais oui, avec Sankey!

The French architecture company AMEO is specialized in construction bioclimatique. The term is probably best translated as ‘bioclimatic building’ … but sound much more chic in French!

The houses they build are made from environmentally sound materials (mainly wood, and other materials such as and cellulose-based materials) where ever possible. Local micro-climate is taken into account, and passive solar energy is used for heating.

Sankey Diagram for a Bioclimatic Building (Source: AMEO Architecture)
Used with permission of AMEO – Source:

The company presents energy gains and losses and the advantages of the bioclimatic building to their customers using Sankey diagrams as the one shown above. Unfortunately two of the flows have no quantity indicator, and two of the quantity shown in the labels have probably been switched (see thin flow labeled 13779 kWh, but wide flow labeled 5850 kWh). However, I like this diagram for its simplicity.


  1. litteuldav says:

    To non-French speakers :
    Chaleur métabolique = metabolic heat input
    Gains des appareils = devices heat input (everything that use electricity: micro-wave, TV, computer etc…)
    Gains solaires = Solar input
    Gains utiles = useful inputs
    Besoins thermiques nets = net thermical needs
    Deperditions = losses
    Pertes techniques = technical losses

    This is quite a sympathic diagram but I don’t think it is strict:
    – green label “gains utiles” looks like the sum of the inputs
    – salmon label “Besoins Thermiques net” looks like losses minus inputs

    Sankey diagrams should be used massively as a preferential way of modelization for each and every flow in our surrounding world.

  2. Steph says:

    For information, it seems that this diagram has been generated by the building thermal simulation software Pléiades+COMFIE, which is widely used in France for bioclimatic design of buildings. This Sankey diagram is simplified and its dimensions do not depend on the flows values.

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