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:
- Site and its surroundings
- Energy Efficiency
- Water Efficiency
- Material Efficiency
- Indoor Air Quality
- Waste Reduction
- Low maintenance costs
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: