Friday, December 5, 2008

Buildings of the future...


The buildings of the future all have one requirement in common, they must be environmentally friendly. This is easier said then done due to the fact that people nowadays don’t think twice when turning on the heat or plugging in an appliance. It is expected that these things just naturally work because we are accustomed to having these sources of energy readily available to us. This is far from the truth though because, as you may or may not already know, most of the electrical energy supplied to buildings in the United States is coal-derived. This explains how buildings play a huge part in worldwide carbon dioxide emissions while their energy consumption in the U.S. outpaces that of both industry and transportation. Since buildings prove to be huge users of energy resources right now, it is vital to the cleanliness of our planet to make our existing and future buildings more energy efficient. The goal is to ring them as close to a net zero energy consumption level, or, if possible, to a level of positive energy production. There are many energy-saving features that can be added to buildings in order to improve their energy efficiency;

  • Reductions in heating and cooling energy consumption can be achieved by using high-efficiency equipment, improved insulation, high-efficiency windows, as well as systems that utilize solar energy for capturing and storing heat as well as ventilating the building itself.
  • Water heating energy consumption can be cut down by using heat recovery systems on waste water and by using high efficiency water heating equipment.
  • Electricity and lighting energy consumption can be cut by minimizing standby power, using energy efficient appliances, utilizing daylight through sun roofs and windows, and by using highly efficient fluorescent and LED lights.  
  • Recycling heat that is generated from large appliances, using absorption chillers to cool the building, and thoroughly insulating these buildings are key ways to cut down energy consumption.
  • Solar cells and wind turbines can be used to generate electricity to sustain the buildings’ needs, while biofuels and solar collectors that are linked to seasonal thermal stores can be used for heating the buildings.
When striving to have buildings with a net energy consumption of zero, or even those that generate more energy then they use, it is important to focus on both energy conservation and energy generation. In other words we most improve the efficiency in which we use energy while working on finding renewable and eco-friendly sources of generating energy such as solar and wind sources. With buildings taking up a large portion of the world’s energy consumption, it is an important issue for us to strive towards net zero energy buildings in our near future.





Stumble Upon Toolbar

1 comment:

Blogger said...

You might be qualified for a new government solar rebate program.
Click here to find out if you qualify now!