If you have used a calorie counting app like, ahem, some of us do, then you get part of what we do to make homes comfortable. Making sure a house is well heated and cooled is a calorie counting calculation. With good insulation and careful detailing, we minimize the number of calories the house needs to use. Then we do the math to balance the energy (which is what a calorie measures…) in with the energy out. Counting calories. For residential projects like my house, we run the numbers ourselves to make sure we are using the right sized heating, cooling and ventilation equipment. (For larger, commercial projects we partner with really smart mechanical engineers who have better “calorie counting” software for bigger buildings…). I met with a trusted mechanical contractor after we calculated the capacity of our equipment. Then we worked out exactly where the equipment and ductwork will go. Coordinating the ‘lungs’ of the building with the ‘bones’ (see previous post) is one of the most important, and least glamorous, things we architects do.