Due to the increasing energy demand and global warming effects, energy efficient buildings have become increasingly important in the modern construction industry.
We are starting to realize the importance of preserving nature and using sustainable energy resources. Fortunately, there are more than a few ways to make your home energy-efficient.
Plus, these new eco-friendly products are not only healthier for the environment but also better for your pocket. They can help you save money on your bills as well as on home maintenance costs. So, if you’d like to make your home more energy efficient, we would like to guide you through it.
- Home Insulation
No matter the country, insulation really works in every weather. In the winter will keep your home warm and in summer cool, without using too many heating or air conditioning items. In other words, you’ll be spending much more money on controlling the temperature inside your home if you don’t have good insulation.
- The sun and it’s path
Each square meter of sunlight provides us with up to a thousand watts of energy. By following some straightforward rules when designing and building your energy efficient home, we can capture this free energy.
The position of the sun varies throughout the seasons. Using an architect to study this particular matter, is really important for an efficient energy home.
So what should we do to make the most of the changing position of the sun to obtain an energy efficient home?
Let you architect direct you through glazing, shading and building layout.
- Glazing / Windows
When you are looking for windows that will be energy efficient, the two most popular choices are casement windows ( for neoclassic or classic design) and windows that are double glazed (contemporary design).
Both of these window types offer great insulation as well as sufficient ventilation. Being available in a wide variety of colours and styles and open-close configurations, you will find that they complement the elegance and style of your home perfectly. Whether you have a contemporary house or a traditional house, these windows will blend in perfectly well and give your home a whole new look.
Tips for Warm Climate
Install white window shades, drapes or blinds, to reflect heat away from home.
Close curtains on the south- west – facing windows during the day.
Windows with special coatings on the glass reflect the sunlight and keep your rooms cooler.
Tips for Cold Climate
Keep windows on the south side of your house clean to maximize solar gain.
Close your curtains and shades during the night and keep them open during the day.
Repair and check your windows before any cold season, if necessary.
- Building Layout/ Architectural Planning
Here is it your architect job to advise you the best solutions for an efficient energy home, based on your requirements.
The building shape and orientation will have a big impact on the design of an energy efficient home.
You should attempt to maximize the use of passive solar gain while reducing heat gain during summer months. Simple directional and design related tweaks can make a big difference to enjoy the summer sun without overheating the house. Good design control of passive solar gain helps reduce heating loads during winter and cooling loads during the summer.
Ventilation can provide effective cooling when the outside temperature is cooler than the inside. Allow cross ventilation by locating openings on opposite sides with minimal obstructions in between.
Design and orientate your energy efficient home to capture prevailing breezes and choose windows with a large open.
But ventilation can’t cool a building on hot days. So it’s good to have insulation which will let you seal the building and keep heat out. This avoids or reduces the energy needed for air conditioning and lets your home energy efficient.
- Efficient Lighting
Lighting design is another key factor for improving your home’s energy efficiency.
Although fluorescent lighting is great, LED’s will be the technology of the future for lighting. The technology has come a long way over the last decade and will save you lots of money.
LED’s are one of the quickest returns on investment and can fit most of the existing light fittings.
- Consider Solar Panels
This might be a bit bigger investment, but it’s also one that would definitely pay off if you can afford it. Solar panels can be installed on your rooftop, and they can help you generate your own electricity. However, they do require some maintenance, so they are not for everybody.
That being said, they are still becoming more and more popular. So, if you’d like to become a part of the green movement, installing solar panels is something you should consider.
It’s easier to design from zero a well insulated, efficiently lit, correctly orientated and efficiently designed building than attempt to retroactively improve it.
Taking good consideration of the local climate and geography, as well as supplementing accordingly with passive shading strategies will pay dividends in the long run for your dream home.
Energy efficient design should always be a key consideration for any design team for any building.