In yesterday’s post, we started looking at the helpful tips that the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Program provides on their website to assist in making various types of buildings more energy efficient. Because the department has been obliging enough to provide tips for 10 different types of buildings, we are splitting this up over the next couple of days. Yesterday we looked solutions for single family homes, multifamily homes, and office buildings, and today we will continue this series.
The Department of Energy admits that it is a difficult thing for retailers to strike a balance between creating an energy efficient environment and attracting customers. Due to displays and signs that potentially consume vast amounts of energy, in addition to regular energy costs for heating and cooling, it is a hard feat to accomplish. It is, however, possible to reduce these costs, and the following tips show retailers how to do this.
* Reduce lighting costs with energy-efficient lighting such as T-8, compact fluorescent, and metal halide fixtures
* Install energy management systems to monitor and control energy use throughout the building
* Control air infiltration in heavily trafficked areas with energy-efficient doors and windows
* Improve comfort and indoor air quality with proper maintenance and cleaning of heating, cooling, and ventilation systems
Health Care Buildings
It probably seems pretty obvious that with the large amount of people entering and exiting health care buildings, as well as utilizing various types of medical equipment in the process, finding ways to reduce energy costs is a difficult one for hospitals and medical facilities. According to the Department of Energy, “medical facilities spend $5.3 billion annually on energy, and rank second only to the food service industry in intensity of energy usage.” This astounding budget spent on energy can be decreased through some fairly simple adjustments, as seen in the following solutions.
* Reduce energy and maintenance costs and increase patient comfort by installing centralized energy management systems
* Save energy and water with solar water heating systems and low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets
* Reduce lighting loads by replacing inefficient fixtures with T-8, compact fluorescent, and metal halide fixtures
* Specify ENERGY STAR products for administrative offices
The two building that today’s post provided tips for have some obvious difficulties facing them in regards to conserving energy and cutting the costs of energy bills. As we have seen, it is possible through the adjustments listed above in the solutions, as well as the assistance of those occupying the buildings. Customers obviously do not have the responsibility to conserve your buildings energy, but workers employed at the building can help out. The big picture, however, is that many energy saving aspects can be best implemented in the construction of new buildings. Many hospitals, as well as retail buildings, are being constructed with this in mind.
Part of the Department of Energy is the Building Technologies Program. The purpose of this program is to improve on how various buildings across the United States use energy efficiently. The Department of Energy has provided energy saving tips in regards to 10 different types of buildings. Today we will look at 3 of these, and continue through the next several dayson the remaining building types. I have left the links that the department provides within the tips so you can find more detailed information about each one.
According to the Department of Energy’s website, the average amount families spend each year to supply energy to their home is $1300. Everyone is looking to save money, especially with the increased costs that come with providing a home with adequate energy, and the following are tips to help your family reduce that yearly amount:
* Use a programmable thermostat to control the heating and cooling in your home
* Compare your energy use against the national average
* Conduct a home energy audit to determine the largest savings potential
* Install energy efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
* Hire a professional to help you insulate and repair your ducts
Multifamily buildings are apartment buildings, high rises, town houses, and other various buildings in which multiple families live. The Department of Energy asserts that energy and water costs have more of a tendency to be high in multifamily dwellings, despite the fact that they have more opportunity than single family dwellings to be energy efficient. These tips are generally meant to assist those operating and constructing such buildings in their quest to become more efficient with the building’s energy use.
* Lower heating bills by converting electric or oil heating systems to natural gas, and replacing inefficient boilers
* Reduce water usage by repairing water leaks and installing low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets
* Replace old refrigerators with new energy-efficient models
* Use compact fluorescent bulbs in common areas
* Specify ENERGY STAR appliances and other products
The tendency to consume massive amounts of energy in office buildings is outrageous. According to the Department of Energy, “office building energy bills are the highest of any commercial building type.” The use of office equipment adds to this energy consumption. It may be more difficult to use energy efficiently at the office because of the fact that not everyone is “on board” when they are not the one paying the energy bills. However, the following tips can help, provided office workers pitch in on the initiative.
* Control energy costs and enhance employee comfort by installing energy management systems, occupancy sensors, and programmable thermostats
* Save energy costs and improve productivity through increased use of daylighting
* Replace inefficient lighting fixtures with T-8, compact fluorescent, and metal halide fixtures
* Choose ENERGY STAR computers, printers, copiers and other office equipment
Green building has started to become a household and industry word here in Orlando, Florida and elsewhere! People are accepting that it is not only here to stay . . . but it is the way of the future!
Yes, the same green movement that has spurred our schools to discourage brown paper lunch bags, and encourage motorists to trade in their gas guzzling SUV’s for a hybrid has now crept into the housing market as a growing number of builders construct environmentally responsible homes. State and local governments are now offering incentives to help promote the use of eco-friendly materials and methods in green residential building.
A widely accepted definition for a green building is: A building that is sited, designed, constructed and operated to enhance and improve the well being and quality of life of occupants and to minimize negative impacts on the community and natural environment.
Here are just a few innovative ways to build greener homes:
* Install Energy Star efficient appliances
* Use low VOC house paint
* Use recycled content materials
* Use rapidly renewable products such as bamboo flooring
* Install engineered wood
* Landscape with low water drought tolerant plants to minimize irrigation use
* Install energy and water efficient irrigation systems
* Install green seal certified windows and doors
* Foam insulation which can save up to 50% on energy bills
* Solar water heaters
* Compact fluorescent lighting
* Computer controlled vents that pull in fresh air
Though it can take a little more work and research on the part of the builder and homeowner because of all of the new products and technology that is now available, the pay off can be huge. A green building will:
* Provide a healthier and more comfortable environment
* Improve long term economic performance
* Reduce construction and demolition waste
* Bring a higher resale value
* Improve indoor air quality
* Reduce environmental impact
* Are easier to maintain and are built to last
The U.S Green Building Council is a nonprofit organization working very hard to promote environmentally responsible building practices. They are composed of more than 12,000 organizations from across the building industry. Members include building owners and end users, real estate developers, facility managers, architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, building product manufacturers, and government agencies. For more information about this organization you can go to: http://www.usgbc.org. This is just one of many nonprofit agencies that are committed to promoting green building practices for a healthier, more energy efficient environment.