One of the most impressive achievements of this decade is the development of nearly zero energy buildings. As time and technology advances, so do our abilities to make better, richer buildings for people to live and flourish in.
By marrying ecological pursuits, together with mechanical engineering, it is possible to strategize during building planning and create modern, impressive places with excellent energy resource allocation.
One of PCD Engineering’s goals is to bring that into the future. Continue reading to find out the key planning strategies you need to consider, to create a sustainable, low-maintenance building localization plan.
This paradigm states that you should consider the natural resources you can achieve based on positioning, without needing to have active mechanisms involved in obtaining that energy. It creates a comfortable environment, all the while cutting the need for artificial heating, cooling, ventilation, and even lighting.
Photovoltaic technology can be placed on the roof to achieve electricity on most occasions, for example. The Korean Passive House is a notable example of this design put into theory, as it maximizes energy intake depending on placement. It also shows solutions to some of the problems that may arise, such as electrical engineering challenges.
Passive energy sources
When deciding on a passive energy design, it’s important to consider what potential energetic resources you may have at your disposal. These include:
- Placing essential building functions in a way that minimizes necessary energy consumption.
- Orienting to obtain a light ceiling through natural light.
- Natural ventilation to minimize energy consumption.
- Thermal insulation through the building’s envelope.
- Building services that are designed with energy-efficiency in mind.
Each building will have its internal heat gain, sustainable energy outputs, and losses, depending on the structures and technologies involved. Analysis of these facts can lead to excellent placing opportunities. For example, a building with access to a localized water-based energy plant will have to be placed near a body of water for maximum efficiency. Adding distance would only serve to extend the number of mechanical parts needed to produce the necessary energetic output.
This type of design, in contrast to the earlier one, seeks to impose control on existing energy consumption to bring about lasting, impactful changes. It affects energy-saving devices by controlling them which is critical to achieving maximum efficiency.
The rationale is that, even if you have a self-sufficient light ceiling fixture, if you still leave it on unnecessarily every time, then it merely wastes less energy than a regular light fixture. The issue is that the energy is still wasted!
Active design involves intelligent systems, as well as common practices which can lead to significant decreases in overall energy consumption – potentially saving far more than passive approaches.
Active design principles
Even here, localization plays a significant part when it comes to energy efficiency. Energy audits are the perfect way to get started and figure out possible pitfalls and challenges you will have to deal with moving forward.
Renovation with the intent of creating the following efficiency solutions will do wonders for saving up to 20-30% of energy costs:
- HVAC control
- Lighting control
- Building management systems
- Power factor correlation
Each of these factors comes with concrete aspects towards energy efficiency such as dimmers, timers, power compensation, floor heating control, and more.
By localizing the building in a way that makes further energetically efficient development possible, you’re ensuring the ability to save even more costs, down the line.
Planification is your best ally in providing the world with a fully energy-efficient building. The advice of experts such as PCD Engineering may save you hundreds of thousands down the line.