Throughout the next few weeks, we will be releasing a more detailed look at some of the most popular “green” strategies in construction today. We will be focusing on the design and mechanical elements that can be applied to your building. We hope that this gives you an in depth understanding of what is possible for your next project with us.
Green building, which is hardly a new concept, has really only been able to make a mainstream appearance in the last few years thanks to a much larger concern and the ever growing list of benefits to both the owner and consumer. As green building continues to become the new standard, products and technologies required to achieve these goals will continue to decrease in cost and increase in efficiency. The initial cost to design and implement green building strategies is still more expensive than a conventional method, and although you can see some financial savings immediately, the majority of savings usually take place cumulatively over time. This is usually not a problem as the buildings we build last far longer than required for the owner to recuperate their initial added investment. There are also some immediate but often overlooked benefits which include greater interior comfort through natural lighting and a higher air quality.
There are two main areas of focus which should be considered when designing a building with green strategies in mind, we will get into more depth as blog posts continue but here is a brief list.
These have the ability to either be implemented right into new construction or down the road by replacing old systems (usually a more expensive route). They still use purchased energy like electricity or natural gas, savings for these systems is found in their greater efficiency.
They usually are made up of:
- high efficiency heating, ventilation, HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator), and air-conditioning systems
- water saving appliances and fixtures
- energy efficient lighting solutions
- radiant heating
Work in the background using the environment, and are integrated into the actual design of the building. When applying passive systems to your project it is important to keep form vs. function in mind. These systems are incorporated right from the beginning of the life of the building, as they are extremely expensive to add later and can require large alterations.
Some of the most common passive strategies include:
- daytime lighting
- natural ventilation / heating / cooling
- solar energy
- rainwater collection
- massing and orientation
Any of these systems on their own when applied and installed properly will be beneficial to both the owner and user. But it is when they are efficiently used together that you will see maximum benefits, thats where we can help. If you have questions regarding this topic please do not hesitate to ask.