Building the present with Energy Efficiency
The energy efficiency of buildings, which wasn’t significant in the past, has now become the dominant measure of building quality. Energy consumption is increasing rapidly due to population growth and the urbanization of cities. According to statistics, globally, buildings consume more than 40% of energy.
Depending on climatic conditions, the type and use of buildings, and the level of development of nations, building energy requirements vary from nation to nation. That is why it’s so important that constructions today consider the design and construction process, measures, techniques and strategies to reduce excessive energy consumption and therefore reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions that affect the environment.
What is energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency is the optimization of energy consumption. Something is considered energy efficient if it consumes less than the average amount of energy to carry out an activity.
Designing an energy efficient building is possible with a multidisciplinary study that starts from the emergence of the idea of making a sustainable building. Energy savings must be considered throughout the building's entire life cycle, which ranges from the energy used during the production stage, using sustainable construction materials, energy for building maintenance, until its rehabilitation and/or demolition process of the building. All this in order to contribute to environmental sustainability.
Energy savings during the life cycle of a building
Buildings have enormous potential for energy efficiency. To obtain this great potential, it’s necessary to have some regulations and initiatives to improve energy efficiency and use it rationally in buildings. Because of this, energy conservation is a key point in sustainable buildings, which is reflected in the reduction of the cost of public services, through the implementation of the following methods and measures:
Project design phase
1. Bioclimatic architecture design: it considers climatic conditions and takes advantage of available resources to reduce environmental impact. It takes into consideration the shape and/or geometry of the building, the orientation of the building, the use of external solar control through solar protection, since the number of hours of sunlight will determine the energy consumption of the building, and the use of passive design systems that will achieve controlled high performance natural ventilation and heat recovery.
2. Design of high-performance envelopes in the building according to the geographical location: they allow for complete thermal insulation in the perimeter walls or facade of the building, and in the roofs, the use of high-performance and low-emissivity glazing and adequate carpentry sealed to the air, that contribute to reaching the optimal regulated temperature inside and thus producing a lower demand for heating and air conditioning.
3. Installation of renewable energy systems: from the use of photovoltaic solar energy systems to generate electricity to wind or geothermal systems that improve the efficiency of air conditioning systems.
4. Inclusion of smart meters and sensors for energy consumption patterns to monitor and control electricity consumption in real time, through an automation system in common areas of buildings (parking lots, emergency stairs).