Energy efficiency is not just a buzzword. it should be a key consideration for the construction of any house. It is possible to have a more comfortable and efficient living space with the touch of simple design elements. Energy costs are rising and will increase in the coming decades. Well, with integrated plans, building owners can save a lot on the life of finished buildings.
Amazing Tips for Building Energy Efficient Homes
Many energy efficiency measures can be considered when designing a building. Most of them are likely to increase initial costs, but most governments are willing to offer incentives to improve the return on investment. Savings during the lifetime of a building far outweigh the initial investment in most cases.
Enter early. Energy consumption is of course important for the initial design of every energy-efficient home. It is important to recognize from the outset that changing subsequent plans may be more expensive than necessary. Usually, planning departments for local authorities require the plan or design for energy efficiency as part of the submitted application.
Orient yourself. The location and orientation of the building is the first consideration for energy efficient homes. You should try to maximize the use of passive solar gain while reducing heat gain during the summer months. Simple directional and design-related adjustments can make all the difference to enjoy the summer sun without overheating the house. Good control of passive solar gain design helps reduce winter heating loads and cooling loads in the summer.
Wood for trees. Landscape engineering around buildings can also play a major role in energy efficiency. Planting deciduous trees on the west and south sides (depending on your location of course) can help provide shade for the building during the summer months. On the other hand, in the fall, trees lose their roof and allow the winter sun to passively heat your home.
Fenestration. Another important design factor is the adoption of low-U frames and low-E glazing adapted to climate and orientation. For example, higher altitudes have good UV rays all year round, except for cold winters. The windows proposed for all sites must take into account the comfort level of the occupants at the end of the work.
Air tightness. Air tightness or leaks have a huge impact on the energy efficiency of any building. Energy efficient homes should have proper seals of seals, sills, ducts, doors and vents. This will significantly reduce the heating costs of the final building. “Build well, ventilate well” is a good adage to follow. It is clear that some areas require mechanical ventilation, eg wet rooms, kitchens, etc. Ventilation systems have become very sophisticated and often include heat recovery technology.
Heat recovery. Heat recovery should be an integral part of building design for all energy efficient homes. As mentioned earlier, there is an excessive number of technologies for ventilation systems. Although the fact that they can now further change the energy efficiency of your home is a relatively new technology for the domestic market. Technologies such as flue gas heat recovery systems (FGHRS) or waste heat recovery systems can provide additional savings.
Heating design. Heating costs tend to account for at least 50% of a home’s energy bills. Choosing the most efficient heating system is an essential part of the design and will affect the life of the building. Another consideration should be the addition of controls such as thermostats, weather compensators, etc. to provide independent control of the heating system. More sophisticated control systems, building management systems, can actively manage building heating programs.
Let there be light. Lighting design is another key factor in improving the energy efficiency of your home. Although fluorescent lighting is excellent, LEDs will be the technology of the future for lighting. Technology has come a long way over the last decade and will save you hundreds of dollars (or any currency) over 10 to 20 years before you need to be replaced. LEDs are one of the fastest returns on investment and can accommodate most existing luminaires.
Count losses. Traditionally, hot water was either generated or stored in a cylinder or tank. Hot water accounts for about 15 to 20 percent of most household energy bills. When designing your domestic hot water system, you should seriously consider tankless water technology systems such as mixed boilers. Obviously, the size of the house, the number of occupants and the hot water needs of the final house will ultimately dictate the design. A series of combined boilers instead of a large storage tank should provide the volume and flow required for most situations. Additional ventilation and installation costs would be required, but this method of providing instant hot water eliminates storage losses or long-term heat losses.
Powered by the sun. As energy costs are constantly increasing, they do not seem to have to go down any time soon. Being able to generate your own electricity or supplement your heating / hot water systems with photovoltaic or solar systems is a good thing to consider in your design. In most cases, you can sell your surplus electricity to the grid. However, future technology systems should also allow you to store your energy generated by yourself.
It is not easy to calculate the return on investment when the market changes, but it is a fact that energy costs are rising. Similarly, the cost of solar installations and your savings. The applicability of this technology depends of course on the latitude and the size, design and orientation of the system may not be flexible.
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Isolate. Reducing heat loss from building elements such as walls and floors is imperative to designing an energy-efficient home. A good design of these composite components minimizes the value u and the value R, which provides a passive and sustainable benefit to the costs of the life of the buildings. Many energy efficient systems and materials are available, such as ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms), thicker wall constructions and roof insulation. In addition, the insufflated foam is also a viable and well recognized solution.
It is easier to design a well-insulated, well lit, properly oriented and heated building than to try to improve it retroactively. If you consider local climate and geography and supplement your passive shading strategies accordingly, you will achieve long-term results for your dream home. Energy efficient design should always be a key consideration for any design team in any building.