Minimizing Energy Consumption and the Future of Energy Efficient Buildings

As the world turns to the issue of global warming and the dwindling resources available to us, a global strategy to build more energy efficient homes and start a sustainable approach to your personal life becomes more necessary. There are huge benefits in becoming more energy efficient across society, and as more individuals, companies and governments hone in on the energy rating standards by which efficiency savings should be judged, all the new energy efficient, green buildings, are leading us into a bright future.

The Devil is in the Design

The energy rating systems take into account a number of factors of a houses heating and cooling needs, based on information about the houses construction, design and the climate in the region. This thermal performance is calculated using purpose-built software from a number of licensed professionals throughout the country.

This Energy Assessment can cut red tape and boost the chances of gaining planning permits and licensing

A residential energy rating shows how energy efficient a house is, with more stars meaning more efficient. Each individual property is tested using an energy rating assessment that gives the property the final number of stars out of ten. A 1 star energy rating is very poor and a 10 star rating is excellent. The energy rating assessment calculates the annual energy load for heating and cooling the property based on these standard occupancy assumption tests.

Planned Energy Efficiency ‘Baked In’ At the Planning Stages

The energy rating systems offer a multitude of residential energy efficiency ratings and assessments that provide homeowners, buyers, property developers and building services access to the real costs of running a property. When incorporated into the planning stage of a build, the energy rating consultants can offer insights into lowering operational costs and improving ratings across the board.

It gives any seller, buyer or tenants a good idea and a ‘measuring tape’ of the property’s running costs, and can improve the selling price of your home significantly. Different countries have different energy rating scales introduced by the governments.  Since 2011, a 6 star equivalent home is the current minimum requirement across most of Australia.

6 Star Energy Rating Is Just the Start

This move towards a 6 star energy rating as standard has come from concerned home owners and buyers, as well as states looking to innovate in the market. With more specialists coming into the industry to determine the future standards, more homeowners and prospective property buyers are taking advantage of the value for money an energy rating report can achieve.

An energy rating report that is generated by one of the professional energy rating consultants working in the industry will give you a baseline rating based on the properties current star rating, as well as helping a property buyer or owner in determining how to convert or upgrade their existing home to achieve a better score.

A rainwater harvesting system that utilises ‘greywater’ recycling can save you up to 50% on your water bills over the course of a year.

Professional energy rating consultants will be able to guide a home owner in how to get the most from a property, in terms on installing solar panel water heaters, upgrading showers and water points, as well as installing rainwater tanks to bring a home up to standard.

In residential terms, energy efficiency is a huge area in which the home owners can save a lot on running costs, as well as help the environment at the same time. Many new residential buildings are taking advantage of a number of government schemes to help the building move to more energy efficient options, such as LED lighting which has proven to be a difference maker in terms of energy bills.

Energy Efficient Materials In Future Homes and Buildings

As the cost of domestic utilities such as gas and electricity continue to rise, more needs to be done to ensure that buildings are less wasteful. Green, modern architecture lends itself to helping a building become more energy efficient, with a number of intelligent designs "baked in".
One way in which a building loses efficiency is through the roof - as heat escapes through poorly insulated roofing systems, but there are a number of clever ideas that are designed to minimise heat loss, which include:

  • Traditional loft insulation
  • Thermal membrane under tiles
  • Roofs made of novel materials, such as grass roofs

Currently there is a call by architects and planners alike to include methods that can improve energy efficiency in homes. These technologies include the building materials themselves such as smart plastics that can be 3D printed, as well as self-healing materials that aim to put an end to cracks and deterioration in roofing materials.

It may sound like science fiction to many, but these smart materials are already being used in a number of "smart homes" to test their efficacy, as well as their aid in energy efficient homes.

Homes and buildings of the future, thanks to the invention of micro sensors will become fully testable and checkable for its energy fitness. Checking a building's energy efficiency, as well as finding the best way to heat and cool a home will become as easy as using a telephone app.

Using sensors to control a heating plan that works around a family's schedule, as well as finding the most efficient and cost-effective time of the day to heat a home can be automatically programmed, based on the information obtained by a homes' sensors.

Switching to LED lighting from Incandescent bulbs has the potential to save an incredible 80% on electricity bills

A residential energy assessment is a must for any new and existing residential buildings that are looking to make savings on utilities, with a number of specialists ready to help consult on upgrades from top to bottom. Depending on the type of the building, an energy rating report can make a huge difference when it comes to running costs at the same time opening up new doors to future towns and cities, which will lead the citizens being less energy wasteful.

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