Green energy and water measures
How is electricity consumption reduced through green building design initiatives ?
• Building fabric and insulation The building fabric , including façade glazing , determines how much air conditioning a building will require . A building fabric that minimises interior heat gains means that the occupants can function in the space without using air conditioning in the summer . A building that minimises heat losses to the outside environment during winter means that the occupants will not need to use a lot of heating to warm up their space . A minimised reliance on mechanical heating and cooling means a lower electricity bill .
• Submetering Water leakages have a huge impact on the water bill , and these are not easily detected . An automated water consumption monitoring system alerts the facilities manager of any leakages or abnormally high water consumption in the building . These alerts lead to rectification of the situation , thereby avoiding costly wastage .
Automated submetering of energy consuming applications in the building not only provides data collection for comparison against benchmarks but also provides alerts of any abnormalities in energy consumption .
• Efficient HVAC systems The efficiency of HVAC systems determines how much energy is required for the equipment to produce the desired result in heating , cooling and ventilation .
• Heat pump systems for water heating Heat pumps use less energy to heat up water than the standard electric geyser .
• Efficient lighting design Lights are some of the high energy consumers in buildings . Due to limited daylight in workspaces , most buildings keep their lights on throughout the daytime . Designing a lighting system that uses less energy has a huge impact on the electricity bill .
• Lighting zoning With an increase in the move towards open plan spaces , buildings can have light switching that caters for hundreds of square metres at a time . When the entire space is not occupied , it is quite a waste to have all the lighting on . Lighting zoning also for occupancy sensor light switching systems to be applied to portion of the large open plan space . This means that only the space that is occupied will have their lights on .
How is water consumption reduced through green building design ?
• Efficient sanitary fittings
• Rainwater harvesting
• Reduced potable water consumption for landscape irrigation
• Greywater treatment systems
• Blackwater treatment systems
• Effective monitoring
For both energy and water consumption measures , occupant behaviour is key to realising the operational cost savings of green buildings . Energy and water conservation measures still need to be exercised by occupants to further the building ’ s efficiency on water and electricity .
ISSUE 50 - JUNE 2022 5