12 October 2022
Exploring Energy-Based Sustainable Construction Techniques
Energy-based sustainable construction techniques describe the process of energy efficiency in the industry. Energy is used throughout the entire lifetime of a construction project, which presents a lot of opportunities for sustainable, energy-efficient practices.
Renewable vs. Nonrenewable Energy In Construction
Renewable energies are natural resources that can be replaced or replenished with usage. When implementing energy-based sustainable construction techniques, companies should strive to use renewable resources. The construction industry has a history of nonrenewable energy usage and has seen little change in consumption in the last 20 years. As there is a finite amount of nonrenewable energy, this results in a huge strain on resources.
In acknowledgement of the need for regulation of sustainable construction, there has been an increase in legislation relating to green methods, such as the Climate Change Act. Looking to the future, the UK government released Construction 2025, an initiative to develop the industry into one that leads the world in low-carbon and green construction exports.
What Sustainable Energy Resources Can Be Utilised?
Finding energy-based sustainable construction techniques means considering which of the resources available are relevant to a given project. Wind power, hydropower and solar power can all be harnessed and stored in the short term, and are ideal for green construction. Prioritising energy-based techniques like these reduces the need for fossil fuels and the strain that puts on resources and the planet.
Other examples include biomass, geothermal and most recently tidal energy. All of these renewable energy resources can be used for electricity generation and the heating of a building.
Energy-Based Sustainable Construction Techniques
The use of low emitting materials can significantly offset the carbon footprint of a build. These materials release fewer pollutants into the atmosphere, so they can help improve the effects a build has on the environment and its users. Using biodegradable materials where possible can also help conserve energy by resources breaking down naturally and reducing waste.
Solar energy-based sustainable construction techniques include active and passive solar power. Active solar power can be used for heating and electricity, reducing the need for gas and electricity in the building. Passive solar power refers to the more organic ways a build can make the most of solar energy, and relies heavily on design. It utilises materials that will absorb, retain and redistribute energy as heat in the winter. This intelligent business design will also reject solar heat in the summer so as not to waste energy.
Domestic Energy Results Of Sustainable Construction Techniques
The final energy consumption used by a building will reflect some of the sustainable construction techniques used in the build. This is how the building design affects the building user’s energy consumption. Whether that be a tenant living in the build or staff working in a build, decisions about energy-based sustainable construction techniques in the design and planning phase will have a positive impact after completion.
Implementing heating or cooling systems can only operate at maximum efficiency when precautions have been addressed via the energy-based sustainable construction techniques in the design and build. For example, effective insulation is crucial in reducing energy loss like heating. This also goes for ensuring that a building is airtight to avoid draughts and make sure that ventilation is optimised. These key details have excellent long-term benefits when executed properly.
Immersion heaters and oil-filled radiators top the list of appliances using the most energy in the home. Reducing the need for appliances like these through sustainable building techniques shows the far reaching benefits of energy-based decision making. The need for artificial lighting can also be greatly reduced with effective design, and optimising natural light in a build will have long-term benefits to the general energy output of a build. Reducing energy wastage is as important as implementing sustainable energy techniques.
Energy-Based Sustainable Construction Techniques In The Demolition Of Buildings
While there are huge opportunities for energy conservation in the build and entire lifetime of a building, energy-based techniques should also be considered at the end of a building’s life. Repurposing a building to avoid entire demolition can reduce the need for resources in removing it completely.
Salvaging materials from a build to reuse them extends the lifetime of resources by recycling existing materials. This is also beneficial in reducing the waste on a project that will ultimately go to landfill. Disposal of waste is a significant use of energy in transportation costs, labour and the machinery used.
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