Sustainable buildings. Green architecture. Eco-building design.
No matter what term you want to call it, the boom of sustainable building designs is accelerating. More than a trend, it is more of an implementation of eco-friendly structures for environmental conservation and preservation to maintain adequate energy and resources for the future. Green building designs seek to improve building performance and reduce negative impacts on the environment while also maintaining good health and comfort of the occupants. According to the Environmental Protection Program Agency, buildings account for the following levels of energy use and consumption in the United States:
- 68% of total electricity consumption
- 39% of total energy use
- 38% of carbon dioxide emissions
- 12% total water consumption
These numbers explain the constant demand to improve construction quality due to the significant impact these factors have on the natural environment, human health, and the global economy. Sustainable development maximizes a building’s environmental performance and provides cost savings to the owner.
Incorporating green methods can be anywhere between design, construction, renovation, and demolition. Source2load Engineering and Consulting has a deep understanding of the regulations and policies of system designs to effectively apply energy-conserving MEP engineering and design services.
So, let’s take a look at how sustainable design methods address each of these issues and how these practices can make your building eco-friendly and cost-effective.
Optimization of Site Potential
The selection of an ideal and proper site is the first step in designing and creating sustainable buildings. It is important to note that a building’s location, orientation and landscaping can impact local ecosystems, transportation, and energy consumption.
Another factor to consider is the management of water consumption and runoff. A building site should be able to reduce and control stormwater runoff and should reduce water use with effective landscape design.
Other factors to consider are infrastructure design, access roads, parking vehicle barriers, and perimeter lighting which affects the local ecosystem and the amount of energy and transportation used by occupants and visitors.
Minimizing Consumption of Non-renewable Energy
Sustainable design practices seek to integrate alternative energy and energy conservation techniques by cutting down the energy from fossil fuels that a building will use to minimize the use of non-renewable energy.
Wind, solar and geothermal sources are cost-effective and decrease a building's carbon footprint. Designers need to optimize the site for renewable sources such as making sure solar panels receive adequate sunlight and wind turbines have access to consistent wind.
Utilization of Eco-friendly Sources and Materials
The construction industry seeks to adhere to the reduce-reuse-recycle policy by recycling materials that are most productive and sustainable in its entire lifecycle. These materials are made and harvested in an environmentally friendly manner and should be reliable to prevent added waste from frequent replacements.
These materials can lessen life-cycle environmental impacts such as global warming, resource depletion and human toxicity to improve the health and safety of occupants.
Implementation of Water Conserving Systems
Eco-building designs and methods lower the use of water and water consumption bills. Innovative practices such as installing low-flow toilets and faucets, utilizing greywater systems that recycle water for toilet flushing and irrigation and optimizing heating and cooling systems to ensure they aren’t using more water than necessary.
Enhancement of Indoor Environment Quality
The quality of an indoor environment can have a significant impact on occupant health, comfort, and productivity. Maximizing the amount of daylight inside a building not only lowers energy cost but also boosts the mood of its occupants.
Ventilation and moisture control removes odors and indoor pathogens increasing indoor and quality leading to healthier occupants.
The depletion of natural resources and the degradation of an eco-friendly environment is a loud call to practice sustainability in every environmental effort. Source2Load Engineering and Consulting has years of experience to justify green building project prerequisites and deliver MEP design services in Texas and its nearby states of Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama that contribute to the enforcement of sustainable development.
If you are looking for a team to consult regarding MEP Engineering to make sure your buildings contribute to sustainable development, then Source2Load Engineering and Consulting is the best team for you.