Energy Efficient Building Design: Five Top Tips
So, national building regs on energy efficiency are showing no signs of loosening – quite the opposite – and now local councils are implementing their own (local) regulations with energy statements. Oh, and all of our wallets are worse off because of the pandemic.
It’s safe to say that there’s never been a better time to think about energy efficient building design—whether you’re a homeowner looking to capitalise on government financial support for eco-improvements, or you’re a Building Planner looking to do things right from the off.
To give you a helping hand, here are our five top tips.
1. Sort your insulation out
Insulation plays a huge part in keeping buildings energy efficient. Through thorough insulation not only of lofts, but of floors, walls and ceilings, you keep the heat in and draughts and condensation out, helping you with meet regulations and/or save on energy bills.
Probably the most efficient kind of insulation is Foam. Why? It’s versatile enough for just about any structure or awkward shape, starting out as a liquid before expanding to seamlessly create a thick thermal barrier.
2. Double (or Triple) Glazing
While it’s pretty common knowledge that double glazing keeps the heat in, you’d probably still be surprised by exactly how much energy can be lost without it. Yep, on to-do lists for energy efficient building design, double glazing is ever-present. We’d even go as far as to suggest triple-glazing, retaining as much heat as possible in the colder months while keeping the heat out in warmer ones.
3. Get energy efficient doors
While windows take the limelight, doors are often overlooked when it comes to planning energy efficient buildings. However, doors that are old or don’t fit right can have nasty consequences on eco-friendliness, letting draughts in and heat out. How can you know how energy efficient a new door’s going to be? Look at it’s rating. As with windows, A++ is the optimal while E is the least efficient.
4. Go for Radiant Heating
Say bye to radiators and hello to radiant heating, which works by heating a room’s surfaces rather than its air. It’s more eco-friendly and cost-effective than its alternatives as it doesn’t need to be set to a high temperature, The panels are put behind walls, floors and ceilings, and their warmth radiates and gets absorbed into the contents of the room. The result? People feel warmer, faster.
5. Install efficient showerheads and toilets
Efficient usage of water is an important factor in energy efficiency, which is why water calculations are required by the building regs for all new projects. A great way to conserve water usage is to install low-flow showerheads and toilets.
Low-flow showerheads don’t just reduce the water coming through the shower itself, but they have pause buttons to shut off the water while the bather lathers up. As for the toilets, these make an even bigger difference. Toilets consume 30%-40% of all water in a house, so replacing an old 3.5-gallon toilet with a sparkly new, low-flow 1.6-gallon toilet helps no end – reducing an average of 2 gallons per flush – that’s 12,000 gallons a year!