As more places turn to urbanization, it’s important to consider its environmental effects. Traditional buildings tend to use more energy and contribute to worsening pollution. Future building designs want to avoid creating more problems for the environment. This is why you see a significant push for energy-efficient buildings.
The world still relies a lot on fossil fuels as a main source of energy. The best thing to help conserve these fossil fuels is to reduce its usage. Of course, there are also good alternatives available. But most have limitations, especially on their geographic location.
How can building designs help conserve energy? What elements should be present to design an energy-efficient building? What are the effects of energy-efficient building designs?
Conserving energy is a positive way of ensuring a better future for the world. If there are more energy-efficient buildings, the world can achieve sustainable development. Find out additional information when you continue reading below.
A Look Into Energy-Efficient Building Designs
The Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO), takes a look into Australia’s building sector. according to APO, the sector uses 19% of total energy consumption. The building sector also accounts for 23% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. The government has procured energy-efficiency measures for both building owners and tenants. This is to help spread information about the importance of energy conservation.
- Insulation of the Envelope
This helps in giving thermal comfort to the people inside the building. Thermal insulation uses an envelope to reduce or gain heat inside the structure. The process in turn lowers down the need to activate mechanical cooling or heating. When the building reduces its use of energy, greenhouse gas emissions are also curved. This energy-saving option helps the environment and contributes to socio-economic development.
- Adjusting Roof Awnings for Sunlight Exposure and Shade
Nowadays there are plenty of retractable awnings that help expose or shade sunlight. Awnings retract to allow more sunlight during the winter. Awnings also help shade the windows during the summer. This not only stops too much heat to enter the house but radiation as well. Awnings can save as much as 25% of your cooling energy. It also reduces heat from 55% to 77%.
- Incorporating Natural Ventilation Through External Wind Pressure
Natural ventilation aids in reducing energy usage in buildings. This natural option has also proven to perform better than mechanically-powered ventilation. Buildings that have natural ventilation make use of openings. The design uses trickle ventilation, wind towers as well as solar chimneys. The goal is to have purpose-built openings that including doors and windows to let air inside.
- Using High-Level Windows for Stack Ventilation
Make good use of high-ceiling windows. Various window designs can allow the circulation of air in the house. During the summer, the windows help with stack ventilation. Stack ventilation helps by creating natural airflow in a room. Note that high windows need to be in the right position so that excess heat doesn’t accumulate.
- Positioning Glass/Windows to Face the North for More Sunlight
The right positioning of the windows can invite the winter sun and cool the house in summers. The windows or glass need to be on the north-facing walls of the room. It’s also required that they should have 10% to 25% of the exposed thermal mass floor area within the room. This helps control the heating and cooling of flats depending on the change of weather.
- Benefits of Energy-Efficient Structures
Cities and buildings are everywhere around the world. As the earth is running out of resources it’s important to give it time to recup[erate. This is why the use of energy-saving designs for infrastructures is being pushed. Energy-efficient buildings are no different from traditional buildings when it comes to function. They even have more benefits.
- Reduces the Greenhouse Effect
Most energy usage from buildings comes from heating and cooling as well as lights. Pollution and high amounts of carbon output contribute a lot of damage to the atmosphere. With energy-efficient buildings, structures use lesser energy. These buildings release little to nothing into that can harm the atmosphere. Energy-efficient buildings provide a healthier environment not only outside but also inside.
- Reduces the Possible Illness or Death Caused by Air Pollution
In many rising cities, air pollution can jump to toxic levels. The rapid urbanization may bring damage to the environment if not handled with care. Energy-efficient structures can slow down rampant air pollution-related causes. Residential and commercial structures are being encouraged to follow energy-saving practices.
- Helps Save Money
Units that have energy-efficient designs spend lesser money on their bills. This is because they get their cooling and heating from a natural process. Households can enjoy the benefits of saving and healthier living. Commercial buildings in turn also save money. These buildings use a lot of energy everyday which can be very expensive. Cut down electric bills and operation with energy-saving designs. Saving can help owners spend money on other areas such as maintenance.
Are Energy-Efficient Building Designs Meant for You?
One of the best ways to help mother earth heal is to stop taking it for granted. Energy-saving building designs are one way of preventing the overuse of fossil fuels. By redirecting energy usage to more natural resources, the environment recuperates. These energy-saving buildings have one goal, and that is to use less energy.
Even if you cannot afford to remodel your flat, there are simple ways to save energy. Start by changing lifestyle choices. Use the sun, the wind, and the rain to your advantage. Maintain your water heater or adjust the thermostat settings to consume less energy. Walk or ride a bike if you are going somewhere near. Take public transportation if you can.
These are some of the choices that the average person can do to help the environment. It will help if bigger corporations or housing projects use energy-saving building designs. The cost of building energy-efficient structures are even cheaper compared to regular types. By normalizing energy-saving, it can help build a safer and better world.