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Sustainability in Construction and the Integration of Building Services - Essay Example

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Sustainability in Construction and the Integration of Building Services

Since a large portion of the total production of electricity comes from thermal power houses, the generation of electricity also adds to the high concentration of harmful gases in the environment. The UK government has set tougher targets for itself regarding the reduction in emissions and for this energy usage reforms must be introduced in buildings because energy use in buildings accounts for half of the overall CO2 emissions in UK. The reforms include promotion of energy efficient buildings and management of energy use in the existing buildings to improve efficiency. Ensuring energy efficiency in buildings starts from the design of buildings. There are numerous techniques which can be employed to make the design of a building energy efficient and the selection of most appropriate techniques is dictated by the climate of the region. The bulk of energy used in a building is consumed in air-conditioning therefore it is imperative to minimize the need of air-conditioning in order to lessen the use of energy in a building. The incorporation of natural ventilation and other passive means of air-conditioning in the design of building can considerably reduce the overall energy consumption; similarly daylight can be utilized to the maximum by proper positioning of windows. Control systems should be installed in buildings to monitor parameters like humidity and temperature and vary the speed of fans and pumps accordingly. Controls systems can also be employed for automatically switching off appliances which are left on unnecessarily. The energy efficiency of existing buildings can be improved by creating awareness among the occupants of the buildings about the various measures they can take to lessen the use of energy in the buildings; an efficient way of doing this is by providing energy efficiency manuals to the occupants as well as the maintenance engineers. Targets should be set up for reduction of energy usage in buildings and energy managers can be appointed to achieve these targets by properly governing the use of energy in large buildings. Energy efficient designs are also financially feasible because of the rapid payback to the initial investment offered by them in the form of lower running costs. The designers should provide energy efficient designs to the clients because in this way they achieve common good for all; the client, the occupants and the environment as well (CIBSE, 2003). The climatic conditions in the 21st century have changed considerably from the past and thus the design considerations for buildings must be changed accordingly. The global climatic change which started with the industrial revolution has resulted in global warming and the climate of various regions of the world today is different from as it was 50 years back and will continue to change in the coming years. The increasing temperature will require more air-conditioning in summer which will increase the concentration of greenhouse gases in the environment resulting in further increase in temperature and the process will continue to take place leading to the destruction of planet. Therefore decreasing the energy use for air-conditioning is the foremost requirement and this must be considered in the design of all sorts of buildings. Global warming will cause the temperature in winters to increase as well, thereby reducing the heating requirement and thus reducing the use of ene ...Show more

Summary

1. The change in global climate is very often attributed to the increased concentration of gases emitted by the burning of fossil fuels. The amount of fossil fuels consumed today is highest in the history of Earth and this is because of the rapid developments in industries and the ever improving lifestyle of human beings…
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Sustainability in Construction and the Integration of Building Services essay example
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