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Home Energy and Architecture

Home Energy Savings Guide for Kids, Teens and AdultsinShare

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Home Energy Savings Guide for Kids, Teens and AdultsShare

With a growing world population, the need for energy also continues to grow. That is why it is so important for us to save energy within our homes, at work, and at school whenever possible. Energy conservation also cuts down on greenhouse gases that can contribute to climate change, and reduces pollution in general. Even the simplest actions can have a big effect. We introduce some tips and tricks to start conserving energy today.


Common Ways to Save Energy at Home

There are multiple ways you can save energy at home. Read on to learn about them.


Improve Heating and Cooling Efficiency

Whether living in a cold or hot environment, we all use some form of heating and cooling in our homes. Our homes are in constant need of maintenance to continue to be or become energy efficient and save money.

Some tips suggested by the University of Georgia are:

  • Have a professional contractor conduct an inspection once a year in your home.
  • Replace and clean filters every three months.
  • Keep units clean and free of debris.
  • Check home insulation.
  • Check the condition of air ducts.
  • Properly care for any window unit air conditioners.

For more tips and information about how to properly care for and maintain your heating and cooling units, please visit the government website Energy or the Federal Trade Commission at Heating and Cooling Your Home for Less.


The first green public building in Turkey

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The first green public building in Turkey: Cezeri Green Technology Technical and Industrial Vocational High School

Feb 6, 2017

A school complex, which belongs to Ministry of National Education is constructed in line with the principles of integrated building design approach as a part of the project on Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Turkey and will be a model for public sector.

Cezeri Green Technology Technical and Industrial Vocational High School is the first environment-friendly public building and creates a model for showing how to reduce energy consumption in public buildings in Turkey and related GHG emissions in a cost-efficient way.

Cezeri Green Technology Technical and Industrial Vocational High School complex belongs to has a land area of 17.030 m² and indoor area of 21.940 m² and the school complex has 26 classroom, 6 laboratory, 10 ateliers, sports hall, a dormitory building with 52 rooms with 147 bed capacity.

Technical aspects of the school campus are as follows:

  • Green roof
  • Photovoltaic solar panels and wind turbine
  • Rainwater collection system and grey water usage
  • High performance building envelope
  • Natural lighting with solar chimney
  • Appropriate sunshade settlements
  • Efficient soil borne based heat pump
  • Trigeneration chiller and trigeneration unit
  • Solar wall
  • Underground pipe system
  • Natural ventilation

Promoting Energy Efficiency in Buildings Project is being executed by General Directorate of Renewable Energy (YEGM) of Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources in cooperation with UNDP with the financial support of Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, and Ministry of National Education are other partners of the project.

For further information please watch our video on the first green public building in Turkey: Cezeri Green Technology Technical and Industrial Vocational High School

Source: http://www.tr.undp.org/content/turkey/en/home/presscenter/articles/2017/02/tuerkiye_nin-ilk-yeil-kamu-binas--cezeri-yeil-teknoloji-teknik-v/


Managing and Reducing Home Energy Usage

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By Hannah Kerns

Source: http://yourlocalsecurity.com/manage-reduce-home-energy-usage

In the United States, most households could benefit from conserving energy. By reducing energy use they also reduce greenhouse emissions and positively impact the environment. Families will also see the positive impact of their actions in terms of their finances. On average, people can save almost $2,000 annually on the energy that they spend in their homes. In households that actively take steps to be more energy-efficient, energy bills may be as much as 40 percent lower than other homes. The impact that energy has on a typical family's finances is often a motivating factor in the decision to develop a plan to conserve energy.

 In order to develop the most effective plan, it must first be determined what areas in the house are using excess energy. To accomplish this, an inspection of the home is necessary. When checking the house for areas of energy loss, start by closing off all windows, doors or anything that leads outside of the home. Shut off water heaters and gas appliances, and then turn on the exhaust fans and floor and window fans. To test for drafts, a person may use a dampened hand, a lit incense stick or a lit candle. In each room, hold the damp hand, candle or incense up to cracks, baseboards, outlets, attic hatches, doors, windows, and room corners. If there is a draft, it will make a damp hand feel cold. When using incense or a candle, a draft will cause the smoke to move. Once these draft areas have been identified, create a list of which areas are the most inefficient and the most costly in terms of energy lost. To make energy improvements, start at the top of the list and work down.


The Eastgate Centre

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Eastgate Centre, Harare

The Eastgate Centre is a shopping centre and office block in central Harare, Zimbabwe whose architect is Mick Pearce. Designed to be ventilated and cooled by entirely natural means, it was probably the first building in the world to use natural cooling to this level of sophistication. It opened in 1996 on Robert Mugabe Avenue and Second Street, and provides 5,600 m² of retail space, 26,000 m² of office space and parking for 450 cars.

Designing for thermal control

The Eastgate Centre's design is a deliberate move away from the "big glass block". Glass office blocks are typically expensive to maintain at a comfortable temperature, needing substantial heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. They tend to recycle air, in an attempt to keep the expensively conditioned atmosphere inside, leading to high levels of air pollution in the building. Artificial air-conditioning systems are high-maintenance, and Zimbabwe has the additional problem that the original system and most spare parts have to be imported, squandering foreign exchange reserves.

Mick Pearce, the architect, therefore took an alternative approach. Because of its altitude, Harare has a temperate climate despite being in the tropics, and the typical daily temperature swing is 10 or 40 °C. This makes a mechanical or passive cooling system a viable alternative to artificial air-conditioning.


Low Energy House - Rainwater Harvesting - Water Collection

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A Rainwater Harvesting System can be installed in a house to reduce mains water usage and maintain water supplies in periods of drought

Rainwater Harvesting Installation - Image Provided by Kingspan Water RangeRainwater Harvesting

If rainwater is required only for the garden and car washing, the simplest solution is to connect water butts to existing rainwater pipes. If there is surplus rainwater, it can be used in the home for non-drinking purposes, like flushing toilets and to fill a washing machine.

Rainwater Harvesting - Water Meters

Most UK households pay their water and sewerage charges as part of their Community Charge. In order to save money on water supply, it is advisable to contact the water company and arrange to have a water meter fitted. A water meter allows water usage to be monitored and for periodic checks to be made for leaks in the system.

Rainwater Harvesting - Purification

It is possible to replace all the home's water requirements with rainwater harvesting, as long as a purification system is installed in the system. If the house already has a mains supply of drinking water then a purification system is unlikely to be cost effective.

Take Other Measures Before Installing Rainwater Harvesting

Before investing money in rainwater harvesting initiatives, it is advisable to take simpler water conservation measures first.

Rainwater HarvestingRainwater Harvesting System Design

Rainwater harvesting is a specialised field so when considering an installation it is advisable to takes the advice of a competent installer. The rainwater harvesting system must be designed so that the supply of rain water meets the demand. Rainfall is intermittant so it will be necessary to store enough rainwater to avoid running out in dry spells.

Rainwater Harvesting - Back-up Water Supply

It is usual to install a back-up mains supply that will operate automatically when the underground rainwater storage tank (www.grumpyb.com.au) runs low. The control system is programmed to fill the storage tank from the mains when there is insufficient rainwater available.

Rainwater Harvesting - Collection Surface

Most pitched roofs provide a suitable rainwater catchment area and the existing rainwater pipes and gutters will act as the harvesting system. It is preferable to collect the rainwater that falls onto a house roof.

Rainwater harvested from the ground is more problematical as it is likely to be contaminated and will require additional cleaning. However, contamination may not be a problem if the rainwater is only used for garden watering


Low Energy House - Sun Tube Lights - Solar Pipe Lights

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Sun tube lights are a simple way of transferring natural daylight deep into a building.  Natural daylight enters the building through a clear plastic dome and is reflected down a mirrored pipe to illuminate the internal space

Effective Lighting from Sun Tube Lights

Sun Tube Light AssemblySun tube lights are highly effective at transferring daylight into parts of buildings that have little or no natural lighting. They can be used to replace artificial lighting and will therefore substantially reduce the annual energy consumption of a home. In many cases, sun tube lights will be used to provide all the light for an internal space but they can also be used to compliment an artificial lighting scheme.

Light Quality from Sun Tube Lights

Natural daylight is known to give much better quality light than that provided by electric light fittings and is more beneficial to recipients. Even on an overcast day, the quality of light transferred into a house will be considerable when compared with artificial light.

Sun Tube Lights

Where possible, the clear plastic dome should be situated on a south facing roof to gain the maximum amount of daylight. Sun tube lights are highly effective at delivering light into internal and badly lit spaces making it particularly useful for bathrooms, stairs, corridors and any dark areas.

Clear Plastic Domes on Sun Tube Lights

Clear plastic domes are available in unbreakable polycarbonate or impact resistant modified acrylic. They are available in several different sizes depending on the amount of light required and can be located on flat or pitched roofs. 

Sun Tube Light - Image Provided by GlidevaleFitting a Sun Tube Lights

In normal circumstances, sun tube lights require no structural alterations as the tube system fits comfortably between rafters and ceiling joists. The joints of the tube are sealed using aluminium tape and only a minimum of fixings are required; often just a single fixing at the bottom of the tube. A system can usually be installed within two to three hours. See Sun Tube Light Video for a demonstration

Sun Tube Light Assembly

For maximum effectiveness, the sun tube assembly should be as straight as possible. As it is not always possible to mount the clear plastic dome in line with the ceiling diffuser, bends are available to offset the solar tube near the top and bottom. The tube can be swiveled easily, to target natural light exactly where it is required. The offsets bends are adjustable up to 30 degrees from vertical.


Low Energy House - Code for Sustainable Homes

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In 1987, the Bruntland Report, on economic development and the environment, defined sustainable development as - ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’

Beddington Zero Energy Development (BedZed) - Image Provided by ARUPCode for Sustainable Homes

In December 2006, the UK government launched the Code for Sustainable Homes. The Code is a development guide for home designers and builders, and the national standard for the building of sustainable homes.

Code for Sustainable Homes - Lower Energy Use

It is anticipated that the Code for Sustainable Homes will reduce the environmental impact of the construction sector as whole and will form the basis for future Building Regulations. The Government wants to see homes built in a way that minimises the use of energy and reduces harmful carbon dioxide emissions but, more importantly, it adds -

‘We also need to build and use our homes in a way that minimises their other environmental impacts, such as the water use, the waste they generate, and the materials they are built from’

Sustainable Homes Assessment and Rating System

It comprises an assessment and rating system aimed at improving the environmental impact of new homes by introducing minimum standards in nine areas, including the use of energy, carbon dioxide and water.

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