Studies show that buildings account for about 30-35% of the energy consumption in the country. Systems for cooling and heating utilize 60% of this energy while appliances and lights account for 40%. If you own or manage a building, you can really benefit from the expertise of an energy consultant to help you come up with efficient solutions.
Low Cost Design Features
Newly constructed buildings are more energy efficient compared to those constructed decades ago but there’s still potential to make them even more efficient. The choice of building materials, as well as allowing more natural light and air to come in can reduce the need for electricity. In homes, using the building’s structure to store heat and capture sunlight can save as much as 50% of energy.
The layout of the building’s interior should enable natural heat flow in the winter, and it should make it possible for air to enter during summer. Color also plays a role in helping make your building more energy efficient. In areas with hot climates, use light colored roofs to allow the heat of the sun to be reflected instead of being absorbed.
Complex Design Choices
There are other ways to lower the energy costs of buildings. To begin with, you can add energy-absorbing thermal mass such as slab floors which can store and gradually release heat.
Certain components such as glazed mass walls can also capture and re-distribute natural heat. Electric utilities are also looking at the idea of renting rooftops where they can place solar panels or photovoltaic cells that can convert sunlight into usable energy and these systems can be added into the grid.
Use of Active Systems
These systems circulate air through a building and they can be used alongside passive design or cooling and heating systems. They can even be used in conjunction with thermal storage to boost energy savings.
Active systems can be supported by roofs, in the form of solar water heaters. The water heating technology we have today is so much more advanced compared to what we had in the 80s and 70s and there are even incentives to be had for those who use them in their homes or offices.
The use of natural light can significantly reduce the need for electric-powered lights, thereby reducing your electricity bill greatly. In addition, it also enhances of appeal of your building. Tapping daylight and using it as a energy saving measure can be done easily – by placing light-colored reflective surfaces near windows to enable light to reach farther into any room. And during times when you need more privacy, you can always use blinds and shades.
Do you want to lower your overhead costs and increase your profits? You can discuss your desire to make your building more efficient in using energy with a certified energy consultant and they will provide you a list of options that do not require a high investment or any major changes in your property.