Low Energy Building Techniques

More and more people are becoming interested in finding new or additional ways to save on energy uses and costs.  Some cities even offer greater savings for using energy or water appliances during certain hours or days to conserve energy. Let’s explore some of the common ways in which you can look at making your building or home more energy efficient.

Low Energy Building Techniques

Solar Energy 

The use of solar energy isn’t a new concept, but it remains a viable option, as solar energy is limitless if you can harness it.  It remains one of the most important renewable energy sources. You can either deploy passive or active solar energy.  Active solar energy includes solar panels and solar water heating.  The energy used from these techniques can then be deployed for later usage.  Passive solar energy includes things like orienting your new building or home to take advantage of daytime sunlight, or designing the home to take advantage of natural air circulation.

Fluorescent Lamps 

These lamps use less energy than incandescent lamps, and this is why they are a better alternative for energy efficiency. LED also uses less energy than incandescent lamps. However, one of the big disadvantages to LED lighting is that it is significantly more expensive initially, but in the long run you will get greater cost savings and energy usage with LED options.

Cool Roofs 

Cool roofs are generally considered energy efficient because they reflect solar rays away from the building or home.  This is usually is done with a reflective surface and have historically been white or lighter colors.  However, now you can get some cool roof options in dark colors that are energy star related.  These cool roofs deflect heat-producing rays away from the building thus reducing the need for air conditioning, and therefore producing an energy efficient solution.

Green Roofs 

Green roofs are growing in popularity due to their visual appeal, and they can also act as a rainwater gatherer since the water and snow that lands on it is absorbed by the plants growing in the roof.  There is a water barrier liner as well as a root barrier as one of the original layers to protect the interior of the home.  However, these roofs also provide nice insulation, thus typically these homes or buildings will require less heating or cooling, generating a more energy efficient environment. Speak with a professional team like ABC Roofing to see if this is an option for your home.

Water Heat Recycling 

This idea captures hot water from sink drains, washing machines, dish washing machines, showers and any place that hot water is used within the home.  The hot water is captured and essentially recycled by being placed in a hot water holding tank.  To reuse this hot water and to bring it up to the temperature needed for the next use requires less energy than heating the water up the typical tap water temperature.

Trombe Wall 

Trombe walls are a building technique in which a sun facing wall for winter sun has a glass pane on the outside of the wall.  The idea is the energy from the sun generally goes through glass, and the energy can be captured once within the walls. Once within the walls the energy can then be re emitted for use to heat up your home or building.  Any time energy from the sun can be used to heat a structure without the use of a heater or furnace you are creating a more energy efficient and cost effective living environment.

Written by Kent Murdock, owner of Randy Adams Construction in Columbia, MO. Randy Adams Construction is one of the premiere commercial construction companies Columbia MO has to offer.