The need to make all types of buildings more efficient is what we must strive for. Government legislation and public awareness about climate change and environmental problems have joined the discussion on energy conservation and sustainability. For example, all new homes built since 2016 should have zero carbon in construction. This legislation has led manufacturers and developers to start using renewable technologies in new commercial and residential buildings. The introduction of these technologies will reduce energy consumption and, consequently, save money in the medium term for any vacancy or tenant or office.
As architects, we are regularly asked how to incorporate these technologies into new and existing buildings. Each building must be considered individually, since there is no single solution that suits everyone.
Next, we will list some of the most accessible and fastest-use renewable technologies that you may have heard of:
- Solar heating – water heating and heat transfer
- Photovoltaic cells – power generation
- Ground heating source – water heating and heat transfer
- Heating air source – heat transfer
- Combined thermal power stations (TPP): water heating and power generation
- Wind Turbines – Power Generation
The benchmarks for all renewable Techis the location of the site, how the building is on this floor, and how the environment of the building will affect renewable technologies (especially trees or tall buildings). A certain type of renewable energy source may not be viable in your area. For example, wind turbines do not always work well in populated areas. This is due to a decrease in wind speed and planning permission, which determines how high the turbine can be installed.
This leads to a second criterion to consider: is it financially feasible to introduce renewable technologies into your property? In the example of a low wind speed wind turbine is equal to the low production of electricity, which makes the installation of the equipment is very expensive, and the duration produces enough energy to recover the unreal purchase. Is it too expensive to install in relation to the specified recovery period?
The third criterion is if you need permits to install renewable technology. If you use the example of a wind turbine again, turbines of a certain height and diameter will need approval planning, and this can be problematic. If you want to convert the technology into an existing building, you will have to assess whether they have any restrictions, such as members of a conservation area or if a building is registered in the English Heritage Registry. The buildings listed are subject to a specific planning policy, which makes it difficult to obtain permits for modern additions.
There are interest-free grants and loans that will help you implement these technologies on your property, making your installation economically profitable and can allow you to start saving money before paying for the equipment.