Buildings are consistently improved upon with each passing technological advancement to bring about a healthier, more energy-efficient, and well-performing design. However, they still currently account for 40% of the global energy consumption and nearly as many CO2 emissions.
There is a significant need to improve the performance of buildings from resource use, as well as performance point of view. The main metrics displaying the performance of a building relate to how well it fulfills its functions, the minimization of used resources, and total performance provided.
Electrical, biological, and mechanical engineering all offer valid approaches to ensuring the necessary aspects are well optimized. Here are some of the main vectors of optimization to ensure your building is designed optimally:
Building envelopes typically decide the thermal aspects of a building, being the deciding factor when it comes to the environmental quality, energy consumption, and aesthetics of the building. One of the main optimization aspects involves the windows, their designs, and that of the exterior and interior solar and thermal control devices. The amount of insulation an envelope offers is also dependent on orientation and the thermophysical parameter descriptions for the walls, roofs, windows, floors, and overhangs. Some notable cases allow for the optimization of energy efficiency of up to 50%.
2. Form of the building
When it comes to construction engineering design, the form is often one of the foremost challenges in the process. Here, the main actors are:
- Total building area.
- Building height.
- Aspect ratio.
These elements are the main aspects of sustainable architecture that leads to energy-saving optimizations. The shape and visual elements are similarly important in finding the aesthetic appeal of the building, as it is equally important to finding dependencies there.
When looked at as a captured energy flow, architectural forms can supply insight into supplying better performance by looking at nature for answers and incorporating biophilic design. Biophilic design applications include vegetation and daylight to window views and water features. An example is the City of Boulder Brenton Building designed by PCD Engineering.
3. Construction considerations
When it comes to the actual way in which the building is structured, you will notice certain elements that take precedence. Namely:
- Building orientation.
- Specific details of parts of the buildings.
These components interact and produce a different performance for the building. Adjusting them individually, as well as a multivariate element can lead to significant optimizations.
The building life-cycle costs and net-energy savings can be easily perfected by attributing these values a suitable parameter leading to sustainable design.
4. Shading systems
As part of a building automation system family, the shading systems have proved to output the most notable results after adjustment. Given that they supply both temperature adjustments, as well as lighting and operating cost reductions, shading systems support excellent optimization opportunities.
Naturally, shading systems vary based on external factors, such as natural resources, climate attributes, and so on – taking various forms, but effectively holding the same power. The easy installation and adjustable controls mean that they’re a good entry into ecologically-aware optimization processes. Unfortunately, due to varied environmental conditions during the year, it has its limitations, with more complex technologies being needed for certain circumstances. That, in turn, may serve to create its barriers.
5. Measuring protocols
To have a correct assessment of what needs to be done and have a more complete picture of the matter, a series of actions need to be formulated. These actions define exact metrics to pay attention to, as well as general phases of the optimization process you should follow along. Naturally, the protocol has a cyclical nature, for continuous improvement is the prudent path forward.
If you’d like to learn more, contact PCD Engineering – your first choice of building construction consultants. With decades of experience, you’ll be able to see the fruits of your labor in no time, as they will provide you with excellent guidance in enhancing your building’s performance continuously.