Monday, September 8, 2008
In its most basic form, energy efficiency is using less energy to provide the same level of energy service. Efficient energy use is achieved primarily by means of a more efficient technology or process rather than by changes in individual behavior. That being said, the following strategies contribute to the goal of becoming more energy efficient:
• Passive design strategies can dramatically affect building energy performance. These measures include building shape and orientation, passive solar design, and the use of natural lighting.
• Develop strategies to provide natural lighting. Studies have shown that it has a positive impact on productivity and well being.
• Install high-efficiency lighting systems with advanced lighting controls. Include motion sensors tied to dimmable lighting controls. Task lighting reduces general overhead light levels.
• Use a properly sized and energy-efficient heat/cooling system in conjunction with a thermally efficient building shell. Maximize light colors for roofing and wall finish materials; install high R-value wall and ceiling insulation; and use minimal glass on east and west exposures.
• Minimize the electric loads from lighting, equipment, and appliances.
• Consider alternative energy sources such as photovoltaics and fuel cells that are now available in new products and applications. Renewable energy sources provide a great symbol of emerging technologies for the future.
• Computer modeling is an extremely useful tool in optimizing design of electrical and mechanical systems and the building shell.