Energy Efficient Buildings

Discussion

Energy efficient buildings require less energy for construction and maintenance, heating and cooling, lighting and ventilation.

A building's operating energy can be conserved through passive heating and cooling features such as insulation, double-glazing, thermal mass, shading, and ceiling fans.

A building's embodied energy can be reduced by constructing it from locally sourced and/or recycled materials, and by making it easy to dismantle and recycle in its turn.

Large buildings can conserve energy by installing cogeneration units, which use the waste heat from electricity generation.

Solar hot water heaters on roof tops can offset demand for electricity and gas by using sunlight to heat water.

Subtopics

Buildings: Embodied Energy - The energy expended to create and later remove a building can be minimised by constructing it from locally available, natural materials that are both durable and recyclable, and by designing it to be easy to dismantle, with components easy to recover and reuse.

Passive Cooling - Interior spaces can be kept cool in hot weather without need for air conditioners, by using ventilation, thermal mass, shading, insulation and draught seals.

Passive Heating - Interior spaces can be kept warm in cold weather with minimal need for electric or fuel heaters by obtaining heat from available sunlight and warm outside air when available, and keeping it inside using thermal mass, insulation, draught seals, and double or triple glazing.

Library

Attitudes of Residential Builders to Energy Issues and Usage 2001/2002, Paul Giles, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2002.

Australian Commercial Building Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990-2010, Australian Greenhouse Office 1999

Australian Residential Building Sector Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990-2010, Australian Greenhouse Office

Designing and Building a New House. Power for a Sustainable Future.

Effects of Thermal Bridging on Heat Losses of Roofs in Australian Houses, Australian Building Codes Board, 2005

Energy Efficiency Handbook Volume One, Australian Building Codes Board, 2006.

Energy Efficiency Handbook Volume Two , Australian Building Codes Board, 2006.

Energy Efficiency of Building Transport Equipment, Australian Building Codes Board, 2004

Energy-Plus House. Wikipedia.

The Furnace-Free House in Vermont. BuildingGreen

Leading the Way in Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Sydney University - Warren Centre.

Low-Energy Building Design Guidelines - Energy-efficient design for new Federal facilities. Energy US.

Regulation Impact Statement on the Proposal to Amend the Building Code of Australia to Increase the Energy Efficiency Requirements for Houses, Australian Building Codes Board, 2006.

A Step Towards Zero-Heating in Residential Homes. Jonathan Scott, Gokay Deveci, Martin Edge

Students Design 'Zero-Energy' House. eBuild

Ultra Low-Energy House - Munich. Bayer

Zero Energy Building. Wikipedia

Links

Australia

ACT Energy Ratings - Residential Buildings

ACT Home Energy Advice Scheme

Australian Building Codes Board

Australian Greenhouse Office - Buildings

Environment Australia - Building and Construction Industry

United Kingdom

Carbon Trust - Low-Carbon Building Accelerator

2007.7.14