Energy Efficient Structures | Principles of Green Building Architecture





Energy Efficiency | Green Building Architecture

Energy Efficiency is one of the key principles of Green Architecture. Energy Efficient Structures can be described as the structures that involve the use of less energy intensive materials required for the construction. The utilization of energy resources by the users of the building also determines the Energy Efficient of the Built Structure.

In our previous articles regarding “Principles of Green Architecture”, we have listed seven important principles of Green Architecture. They are as follows:

  1. Site and its surroundings
  2. Energy Efficiency
  3. Water Efficiency
  4. Material Efficiency
  5. Indoor Air Quality
  6. Waste Reduction
  7. Low maintenance costs
Flowchart - Energy Efficient Structures

Flowchart – Energy Efficient Structures

The first step towards designing an energy efficient structure is designing the structure in a way that it justifies the principles of Bio-climatic Architecture.

Bio-climatic Architecture is a simple theory of the design of buildings depending on various factors such as:

  • Location of the Site
  • Micro-climate of the place
  • Macro-climate of the place
  • Topography of the site
  • Natural elements present on the site
  • These factors are analysed and then taken into consideration while designing.

Conclusions from the study of climatic factors would influence the design factors such as:

  • Orientation of the Building
  • Form of the Building
  • Size of the Openings
  • Orientation of the opening depending upon the direction
  • Construction of Chajjas or Shades or Pergolas

Bio-climatic Architecture is useful on achieving Material efficiency to a large extent.

For example, The North Light is not very harsh. It is pleasant and bright. North lighting is of great importance for the lighting and ventilation of the building.

The glass used for the facades or windows towards North could be of a cheaper quality because energy efficient glass is not really required towards the North side whereas a better quality glass to resist the heat of the sun could be used towards the west side of the structure.

Insulation can also be used to towards West side wall and South Side wall to prevent the overheating of the inside space.

This is one feature that helps us achieve Energy Efficiency to a considerable extent. There are also other important factors that contribute towards the energy efficiency of the place. Bio-climatic Architecture falls under the category of Passive Green Building Systems.

There are also other design features that have to be incorporated to increase the energy efficient of the building complementing the Bio-climatic principles of design.

Passive Solar Architecture also plays an important role for achieving energy efficiency of a structure.

Use of Wind Power by the use of turbines for the generation of electricity.

Hydro-electricity can be produced by constructing hydro-electric power stations.

Solar Energy can be harnessed with the use of variety of appliances.

For example, Solar Photovoltaic panels, Solar water heater etc

Biomass also serves as source of immense energy which can be utilized for a number of purposes.

We will discuss each of these features in detail in our succeeding articles.

Here’s a casestudy of one of the Energy Efficient Buildings in India:

Institution of VNIT, India



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  1. #1 by Asset Tracking Software on November 12, 2010 - 12:26 am

    Great article, very informative. This is the first time I’ve heard about Principles of Green Building Architecture. I can say that it’s very nice because it can help our environment. This might help in solving our environmental problems. Thank for posting.

  2. #2 by Kimchi on November 17, 2010 - 6:47 am

    This is a very interesting subject. I live in a desert area and we must build our houses efficiently in order to keep the house cool while saving on our electric bill.

  3. #3 by MARK on November 20, 2010 - 10:15 pm

    great article…..it helps me a lot…

  4. #4 by Suzanne Copenhaver on March 2, 2011 - 5:56 am

    This frequently amazes me exactly how Blog writers such as yourself can find enough time as well as the commitment to carry on Composing excellent discussions your blog is fantastic and one of my personal have to read blogs and forums, I had been more than pleased with the post I simply had to say thanks and also well done
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  5. #5 by kostas gianneas on May 2, 2011 - 4:57 am

    RESORT(CAMPS AND HOUSINGS) BASED ON BIOCLIMATIC ARCHITECTURE AND ENERGY SAVING PRINCIPLES

  6. #6 by joseph on June 29, 2016 - 2:09 pm

    Great article

  7. #7 by Dr Tariq uz Zafar on March 13, 2017 - 4:18 pm

    Dear Benzu,
    I have the deepest admiration and respect for the outstanding work you are doing.
    I am a medical doctor with a Masters in Health & Hospital Management.
    We don”t have any architects who specialise in Hospital design in Pakistan and as a Manager, I have had to cope with weird and often totally non-functional designs.
    I am now to teach a group of Hospital Managers the Basics of Healthcare Facility Design.
    Where I am okay as regards a user’s design requirements, I would like your advice what elements should be included from basics of Design & Construction for this course.
    I am not familiar with how to access your blog regularly and would appreciate if you guide me for this, or, kindly reply to my e-mail address.
    Thank you!

    • #8 by BenzuJK on April 9, 2017 - 2:44 pm

      Dear Dr Tariq,

      Thank you for your comments. I appreciate them. You will find a subscribe button where you can input your email address and you will thereafter receive emails everytime a new article is posted.

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