Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Improving energy efficiency in your building can be simple & easy

One positive trend all across the globe is how people are turning to simple, low-cost measures that can save of energy and money. Saving energy in existing buildings is very simple and easy once you make up your mind to do it. For example, a group planted 'green curtains' around 20 of its facilities on 3 continents. These lightweight green curtains allow flower or fruit-bearing plants to grow and in turn shade walls and windows, reducing direct solar gain through the windows and the buildings' opaque surface temperature by over 25 degrees F.

The building’s energy efficiency not only affects the utility bills, but can also have an impact on the property’s value and if its an office then the workers’ performance too gets boost! Improving energy efficiency in your building can also be simple & easy. Here are few measures one can take to improve the energy efficiency of any commercial building:

Measure your energy consumption
The first step one can take to boost energy efficiency is to measure the energy consumption. And the take steps where you can make the greatest improvements in energy efficiency.

Put proper insulation in place
The outside envelop of building should be designed to lower heating and cooling needs. A proper insulation can help make your building as airtight as possible. Replace doors and windows to stop air leaks in existing buildings can provide additional insulation.

Select the right ventilation system
An effective ventilation system to maintain good air quality and prevent the buildup of moisture can go a long way to improve the energy efficiency in your building.

Use energy-efficient systems and equipment
Use certified equipment and save on energy consumption and money. An Energy Star certified computer, for example, will use 30% to 65% less energy than a typical non-certified model, depending on its use.

Use LED lights
LED lights can help you reduce your energy use by 75% compared to incandescent lighting. Also, use sensors in infrequently used spaces such as conference rooms and restrooms to cut down on energy use.

Design Atelier is a New Delhi based Green Architecture Firm that can help you achieve 'green and energy saving goals'.  

Monday, April 29, 2019

Can architecture help beat the heat?


With heat wave already making Indians uncomfortable in many parts of the country, one questions arise that can architecture help beat the heat? Also, can we keep cool without air-conditioners? Architecture can play a big role in temperature reduction. With the help of the combination of right materials, direction and lot of windows and open spaces, the interiors can be kept cooler. Using bamboo and natural foliage to cover the facade and windows prevents heat penetration. Beating the heat with the help of architecture is not expensive but surely needs expertise!

Architects often quote examples of Pol Houses, some dating back nearly two centuries — weathered many a summers because of their unique architecture. A pol in India is a housing cluster which comprises many families of a particular group, linked by caste, profession, or religion. Pols are typical of urban centres in Gujarat especially of Old Ahmedabad.

The pol houses have grilled front door which is always open so that air enters inside the house. The scientifically designed air circulation system ensures that the hotter air gets upward movement through open courtyard which is later replaced by cooler air via smaller openings. Narrow lanes of the pols trap air to cool it.

The green cooling system recommends that home should have stone flooring, high ceiling and extensive cross-ventilation. This makes home at least 7-10° cooler than the ambient temperature.