Energy-efficient buildings might seem like a niche fad but there are plenty of ways that making small (or larger) changes can have a big impact on your monthly costs and on your carbon footprint. Whether it’s a domestic building or office space we’ve put together a short list of ways you can cut your costs and make your building more energy-efficient.
Invest In Window Film
Installing a sun-blocking window film can be a huge first step towards having an energy-efficient building. Some manufacturers estimate that up to a third of all cooling expenses are racked up countering the effects of solar heat that enters the building through glass windows. By limiting the amount of heat entering the building you can allow your house or office space to remain well lit while still cutting your air conditioning expenses.
There are different grades and styles of window film that prevent different amounts of heat gain as well as UV exposure. Some window films also offer increased privacy through mirrored or tinted options further increasing their efficiency.
Fit An Energy-Efficient Door
While it might seem obvious to some, an ill-fitted door that isn’t tailored around insulation can cost a lot in the long run. Just as windows are highlighted for being an area that allows heat to either enter or leave a property a door can have the same effect on a larger scale. Particularly evident in office buildings with multiple doors or large doors that are opened repeatedly throughout the day, you need to maximise the effect they have while closed.
A fibreglass door will come with an Energy Star rating that lets you see how effective it will be at keeping your building insulated.
Upgrade Your Air-Conditioning System
Upgrading an existing system that is still working is always a tough choice but with the massive strides forward in energy efficiency in recent years, replacing your current system could be saving you money much quicker than you might think.
More energy goes into heating and cooling buildings than almost anything else and while the upfront cost seems high, if you combine a newer more efficient system with the other upgrades listed you’ll see a dramatic cost reduction as your building becomes more energy efficient.
Manage Air Leakages
Sealing leaks around windows and doors seems like an easy and obvious solution but you also need to pay attention to any leaks around your walls, ceilings, and floors. When a building is being air-conditioned any air leakage can have a huge impact on the ambient temperature meaning your costs can skyrocket trying to correct them.
Application of caulk or spray foam can massively cut down the costs of air-conditioning giving you a much more energy-efficient building.
Invest In Sustainable Energy Sources
No matter where you live if your building has appropriate conditions to maintain a source of sustainable energy it can be a good investment. Bahrain in particular, where we do a lot of our work, is a prime location for the installation of solar panels. With a large upfront cost in comparison to some of the other options on this list, it might seem a bit daunting but with around 12 hours of guaranteed sunlight every day, Bahrain is made for solar panels.
As they have become more widespread the costs of sustainable energy sources have begun to drop so you can see a return on investment within a much shorter time frame than before. All of these bonuses also come with the added effect of lowering your impact on the environment, a goal that everyone should reach for.
Energy-Efficient Building & Construction
This is just a small sample of the ways that you can create an energy-efficient building even when energy efficiency was not a concern during construction. When taken into consideration during the initial construction process, some of these ideas can be expanded on and integrated into the initial design, providing even larger savings more quickly. Through energy-efficient building, you can not only save money but also make the world a cleaner and safer place for future generations to live in. We’ve already covered our ‘solar-powered vision for the future‘ in a previous article, but we’ll cover the benefits of constructing energy-efficient buildings in a later post.