Wednesday, June 19

The Anatomy of an Energy-Efficient Building

As society faces the impact of climate change and environmental degradation, many stakeholders turn to energy-efficient building design as a sustainable move. Energy-efficient buildings are made to optimize energy usage for heating, cooling, lighting, and other operational requirements. They integrate various design features, technologies, and materials to use resources efficiently and reduce waste.

Energy-efficient strategies can help building owners by lowering energy bills. In the long run, higher cost savings mean increased financial stability and the ability to invest more in other areas of the business.

Adopting green initiatives in New Jersey buildings can also contribute to environmental sustainability. Minimizing energy consumption and reducing reliance on fossil fuels as an energy source can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.

There are two main approaches to implementing energy efficiency in a building: passive and active designs. Passive design prioritizes the use of natural resources and climate-responsive design to lessen reliance on heating, cooling, and lighting systems. It leverages natural elements like orientation, sunlight, airflow, and thermal mass to retain comfortable indoor conditions while minimizing energy consumption.

Meanwhile, active design uses mechanical and electrical systems to enhance a building’s performance. It focuses on advanced technologies and systems to actively regulate and control various aspects of building operations. Active design strategies must work together with passive approaches to reduce overall energy consumption in the building.

When designing energy-efficient buildings, innovation, sustainability principles, and the expertise of a NJ structural engineer play a significant role. A professional engineer can analyze a building site and its climate conditions and develop passive solutions. They can also apply their knowledge in mechanical, electrical, and environmental engineering to design and implement active systems that help in maximizing energy efficiency.

The best time to focus on energy efficiency is during a building’s design and construction process. This enables the integration of strategies more simply than in a building that is already complete. Existing property owners can consult a commercial building engineer NJ to conduct a property condition assessment and evaluate where they can incorporate energy-efficiency strategies.

Learn more about energy efficiency in buildings with this infographic by Lockatong Engineering.