How an Energy-Efficient Building Looks in 2022
Energy efficiency is all the rage these days. Everyone is talking about why the adoption of green buildings is beneficial to building owners and the environment. Commercial entities are also leaning towards energy-efficient buildings to save on costs and provide a conducive working environment for their employees. As a building owner, the importance of embracing green technology today cannot be overemphasized.
So, what does an energy-efficient building look like in 2022?
Many old buildings are not energy efficient and rely on non-renewable energy sources like natural gas, petroleum, and coal. These are expensive and not environmentally friendly. That’s why many people are now building energy-efficient buildings to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. This trend is likely to be around in 2022 and beyond, as 54% of Gen Z think a company’s social and environmental efforts are critical.
Energy-efficient buildings (renovated existing buildings or new constructions) are buildings meant to offer a significant reduction of the energy needed for cooling and heating, independently of the energy and the equipment that will be selected to cool or heat the building. Energy efficiency is often achieved through a range of elements, including:
- Bioclimatic architecture like passive solar systems and shape and orientation of the building.
- High-performing building envelope, like high-performing windows and glazing, insulation, and avoidance of thermal bridges.
- High-performance control ventilation like heat recovery and mechanical insulation.
Uses bioclimatic architecture
Energy-efficient buildings have a strategic design that helps them align with the local climate. From shape to orientation, these buildings are designed to create healthy, comfortable spaces that respect the environment. Bioclimatic buildings adapt to the environment and reduce energy costs and resources used, avoiding wastage and leaks. For example, a building in a colder climate can have windows facing the sun for natural heating. It can also have movable or fixed awnings to shade windows during summer. Similarly, a building can be constructed partially underground to take advantage of natural cooling in summer and insulation in winter.
It is airtight to reduce air leakage
Air leakage is when outside air enters the building, or inside air escapes the building through gaps in the ground, ceiling, or wall. Outside air causes cold draughts and condensation on surfaces, whereas inside air escapes with heat. Both these situations affect room temperature, causing the HVAC system to overwork. The unwanted air infiltration generates huge costs for occupants and owners.
Has better insulation
Insulation plays a significant role in energy efficiency. According to Energy Star, thorough insulation of windows, walls, floors, and ceilings can help save up to 10% of the total yearly energy cost. With good quality insulation, a building won’t have to run on HVAC systems as frequently, saving energy. A building that’s not sealed correctly will have air and energy leaks that disrupt the indoor climate, forcing the heating and cooling systems to run more, thereby wasting energy and money.
Has high-performance windows
Energy-efficient buildings have high-performance windows that help maintain the optimum room temperature at all times. At the same time, these windows are meant to allow maximum light transmittance into the building, eliminating the need to use artificial lights throughout the day.
Uses curtain walls to protect the building from external elements
Modern-day commercial buildings use curtain walls to maintain optimum building temperatures. Curtain walls, which are a prominent feature in modern buildings, are thin, often aluminum-framed walls with in-fills of metal panels, glass, or thin stone. They protect the building from exterior elements like air and water. Curtain walls from top companies like FreMarq are adequately treated and glazed and enhance the building’s thermal efficiency. They can stabilize the temperature within and reduce the operational costs of the building.
Has controlled ventilation systems
Ventilation allows the free flow of fresh air into the building and stale air out of the building. If a building doesn’t insulate correctly and ventilates too little, it can risk warm, humid air condensing on a cold, poorly insulated surface. This creates moisture that promotes the growth of fungi and molds. A controlled ventilation strategy will meet the fresh air needs of an airtight building.
If you’re looking into energy-saving solutions for your building, we can help. Contact us today for inquiries, we’ll be happy to help.