Save your Energy
Energy Efficiency in Construction and Operation
People are increasingly aware of the way using cars influences global warming.
In fact, the major contributor to the CO2 emissions is the use of non-renewable energy during the construction and use of buildings. So sustainable construction can make a big difference to our impact on energy consumption and climate change.
Energy efficiency in sustainable construction covers: energy used to create the building material; energy used to put the building up; and energy consumed in the building over its useful lifetime and its decommissioning. In checking our energy efficiency we have to look at all three aspects.
- Are the building materials you use maximising the use of recycled materials?
- Does their production use a lot of energy, that is non-renewable? eg manufactured using heat or electricity from fossil fuels
- Will these materials conserve natural warmth and minimise losses of heat?
- Do windows and atriums create uniformly high daylight levels with the means to control glare and direct solar gain?
- Are the proposed heating and lighting systems inherently low energy use, for example, make use of condensing gas boilers, have lighting loads less than 2 W/m2/100 lux and specific fan powers less than 1 W/l/s?
- Does the building design make use of natural ventilation, exposed thermal mass, effective solar shading and low internal gains from lighting and equipment and effective night ventilation to minimise the need for mechanical cooling systems?
- Does the design ensure that the building meets the good practice air leakage rate of 5 m2/hour per m2@ 50 Pa for commercial buildings?
- Does the design and fit-out of the building provide usable and effective controls and practice effective energy management so that the building can live up to its design intent?
- How will the use of these controls be communicated to owners, tenants and other users of the building?
- Energy cost savings
- Improved Economy by improving occupant satisfaction and hence productivity, which also leads to an enhanced asset value
- Lower Environmental impact from reductions in CO2 emissions
- Dyfi Eco Park: the award winning light industrial park. The development represents an exemplar in energy and environmental performance (see article Cohen RR, “Triple E for Developers”, Building Services Journal, February 2000)
- Tolvaddon Energy Park - Incorporates an earth energy system to provide heating, has a grey water recycling system, a low energy lighting system and increased insulation, considerably reducing CO2 emissions. (Further details from the RDA - 01382 214747, www.southwestrda.org.uk)
- Photovoltaic system on 8 existing houses in Dartington, Devon - A Government funded scheme, reducing electricity bills by 25 - 30% (Further details from - www.cholwell.org.uk or 01823 762628)
- Life Guard Hut, Bantham - A Heritage Lottery Funded project delivering 100% electricity needs of building (Further details from - www.cholwell.org.uk or 01823 762628)
- Environment Agency offices, Bodmin - A contemporary link between two older buildings designed to be thermally efficient by use of a turfed roof with recycled newspaper insulation and natural air-flow
- Great Western Hospital, Swindon - Carillion Building (www.carillion.co.uk)
Sources of Help and Information
- Energy for Sustainable Development, contact Dr Robert Cohen, email@example.com, 01225 816646
- Cholwell Energy Systems Ltd - www.cholwell.org.uk , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org - particularly for integrated photovoltaic systems and wind power
- Energy Saving Trust - www.est.org.uk
- Association for the Conservation of Energy - www.ukace.org
- Design advice is available via the Environment and Energy Helpline Tel: 0800 585794
- Green Construction - www.greenconstruction.co.uk
- Environment & Energy Management Team, GOSW. Tel: 0117 900 1800 or www.oursouthwest.com