Energy efficient construction is becoming more and more popular, as builders are able to source the services, utilizing far less energy and drive long-term operating costs down. Increasing overall energy efficiency allows building occupants to significantly reduce their operational costs, and be less dependent on the grid.
The following are some examples of how companies are enhancing energy efficiency in construction:
- Making use of systems and controls which work together to increase overall efficiency, moving away from individual technologies
- Using energy saving processes to lower overall consumption and costs
- Regular auditing of energy usage, providing assessment and feedback, ensuring more efficient practices and technologies are being used
- Retrofitting or simply replacing all technologies that may be energy-inefficient
- Improving overall operation and maintenance of buildings, transportation, and industrial equipment and technologies
- Developing more energy efficient policies and educating staff working within the building on how to implement them
Benefits of Energy Efficient Construction
Energy efficient construction is now quickly becoming a crucial factor for businesses when sourcing new properties due to its benefits.
Through using sustainable processes and energy efficient methods when constructing a building, they are finding that they are saving a significant amount of resources in the long run. Foremost in the methodology is to select the appropriate energy efficient equipment and materials during the design process. This will then address the layout and orientation of the building in a fundamentally energy efficient way from the beginning.
Most importantly, energy efficient construction is the best way to significantly conserve resources, thereby protecting the environment. Companies who engage in energy efficient and sustainable construction now receive internationally recognized certifications. This certification is quickly becoming increasingly important in the construction industry and building projects.
At Chad Fisher Construction, one of the energy efficient construction projects that we have worked on and are proud of is Bay Baby. Having a renewable energy system for the building was a priority for the owners, and we worked closely with Michelle and Banner Power Solutions to ensure the energy needs of organic farm certification were met.
Key Design Factors For An Energy Efficient Building
- Implementation of a complete building system approach before commencing on a new construction project, treating the entire building as one energy system featuring separate but dependent parts. Every part affects the buildings overall performance.
- The design should incorporate energy efficient water and electricity sources as well as other natural energy resources.
- The design of the building should be open to future retrofits, without affecting the buildings overall performance.
- The building’s orientation should be taken into consideration. A thorough assessment of its location, as well as the placement of rooflines, windows, and other features, is crucial for overall energy efficiency.
- Sustainable design focuses on reducing the depletion of key resources such as water, land, raw materials, and energy. An energy efficient design will always advert any destruction to the environment and ecosystem.
- Energy efficient building designs should make use of energy modeling software to effectively estimate the building’s potential energy use. The design or model’s overall output can help contractors, architects, or building owners to easily modify a building’s performance and cost before any construction begins.
Energy Efficient Construction
There are many factors to consider when constructing an energy efficient building, including the following:
Studying the building site is crucial, especially knowing which side the sun rises and sets in relation to it. In warmer climates, you will likely want to avoid direct sun exposure. In cooler climates, you would preferably want your building positioned to capture more sun.
Your choice of windows and doors will affect your building’s overall energy efficiency. It is recommended that 50% of your opening area should face a southern direction. The more natural lighting that can be used the better.
Overhangs can be used to selectively allow sunlight into your building during the cooler months while blocking direct sunlight during the hotter months. Building materials such as ceramic tile, stone, and concrete can capture and store heat and release it slowly thereafter.
There are many ways to insulate your roof and wall cavities. Thermal insulation using energy efficient materials will ensure that heat loss or heat gain is significantly reduced, which would lead to an overall reduction in cost. Spray foam insulation is widely used due to its superior and long-lasting insulating qualities. It is water-proof, does not shrink, and does not produce harmful greenhouse emissions.
If you are building from the ground up, you can choose which materials are used in construction. A few of the go-to products used in the industry today for energy efficiency include recycled steel and insulating concrete forms.
Not only does using energy efficient processes during the construction process protect the environment, but it also lowers overall operating costs. Contact us at Chad Fisher Construction to discuss how we can work with you on your next project to build an efficient and sustainable environment.