One of the key areas within which architecture needs to be sustainable is the element of designing buildings having good energy efficiency. Kenyan Designers are presented with the challenge of producing sustainable architecture that is relevant to the times we live in. Constructions are huge consumers of energy in many ways and the construction industry has led to having a high level of energy consumption. There is a need therefore for buildings to incorporate necessities for sustainability in order for them to favorably contribute to the green agenda.
Energy Efficiency for Kenyan Building designers creating green architecture – Using Green Fittings
Green architecture postulates buildings to have a lower energy footprint, i.e. that they wield less power requirements on the environs, and do not cause unfavorable environmental outcomes in the process of finding this power. This is linked to the need for cleaner alternative sources of energy that do not cause environmental degradation. Adapting to the green agenda demands that we make use of sources of energy that have low volatile organic compound substance and let loose less carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
Energy in its different forms is consumed within buildings through the huge number of widgets and gadgets that we use in our business offices, institutions, homes, industries and shop premises. They are inherent to the functioning of the said facilities, and are a major part of our day to day activities. We cannot operate in today’s working environs without using these machines. With this in mind, we play, are productive and buy and sell working with these gadgets that consume energy.
It is vital to note that since we use energy consuming gadgets within the circumstance of the built environment, we need to consider how to trim down consumption of energy within our buildings Likewise it is key that we consider the employment of appliances that make a conscious effort to work well while consuming as little energy as possible.
Incorporation of energy efficiency in buildings through efficient equipment
The necessity for adequate light is a major requirement for most activities in the home, and especially in workplaces, which require them critically. In many offices today, deep interior spaces are the norm with their workstations distant from natural lighting from windows. In this regard, the need for artificial lighting becomes important.
One may suppose that the cost of lighting a single workstation may be relatively small. However when this is regarded in the context of an integral office consisting of many workstations, it is a substantial cost factor . Lighting an office or home also requires other levels of light to be provided, including general lighting, task lighting, external lighting and decorative lighting. All these exert their demands on the light expenditure required. These elements of lighting all add up to create a large energy consumption requirement.
Energy saving lamps are one way of working towards to ensure that energy is conserved within buildings. The ability for a light fixture to provide the same light as another, which consumes much more energy, is a huge advantage that users need to take awareness of. Conventional tungsten filament lamps used to consume much electricity and give out light and heat. However recent technological advances have yielded energy efficient light bulbs that require less energy and produce more light. The LED lights applied today also offer these vantages. In this regard, should you need to supply artificial lighting to raise your workplace lighting levels, you will spend far less on energy expenditure by using these kinds of light fixtures.
Having light fittings that can be moderated is a big way with which one can further the green agenda.. Often lights are left on in spaces which are not being used, or which have occasional traffic to them. Lavatories and stores often have their lights left on even when there is no human activity in them. Office spaces at night can have their lights left on at night due to neglect, resulting in energy usage that cannot be warranted. Even security lights can be left on night after night in spite of their being no one using them at a time.
The best solutions in this regard is to have fittings that are self regulating and are able to be set off according to user demand at a time. Using smart fittings that have electronic sensors allow electric fittings such as lights to be mechanically governed depending on the circumstances. In addition, should the room be cleaned out, the light fixtures are able to switch themselves off, resulting in less wastage. Light fixtures having photocell sensors are also able to detect the amount of surrounding lighting in a space and are able to darken or brighten accordingly, to ensure optimum lighting levels. This leads to good savings in energy consumption in the process of lighting up a building.
The computer is another major source of energy consumption bills. Computers are used globally, with plenty of our activities in the workplace and at home taking place in the context of electronic media. These often come in several components that draw electrical power, i.e. a CPU unit, a monitor, printers and other peripheral devices, as well as an uninterrupted power supply (UPS).
Information Technology officers should encourage the use of portable computers within the office from day to day, as these come as single units that consume less power. Laptops and netbooks have matured steadily in their capability to handle tasks in the office, with many having good ratings. Their portability offers great merits in allowing people to work in other locations without a problem.
A major merit is the fact that their energy usage is much lighter than corresponding desktop computers that require several elements to be powered at a time. Use of such computer systems will ensure much lower power consumption within the office. In addition, being battery powered gives supplementary choice for energy provision, ensuring that less electricity is drawn from the national grid all the time.
We must strive for energy efficiency in building methods to attain sustainable building
Dealing with these two spheres alone in a workplace can have widespread significance on the energy demands of a building. Wisdom demands that if these things are properly harnessed, they can reduce the energy footprint of the built facility, and largely increase a building’s sustainability. We will have a greener world through ensuring energy efficiency in buildings.