In this blog, we outline seven design tips for reducing energy consumption in modern architecture. Some of these tips include promoting building insulation, installing energy-efficient appliances, and considering the location and direction of the building.
We live in an environmentally conscious world in which a high percentage of home and business owners are looking for premises that help reduce their impact on climate change and save money in the long run.
By choosing modern architecture that reduces energy consumption, businesses can improve their brand perception and reinvest savings into their operations. In this article, we outline some architectural design tips for reducing energy consumption.
1. Consider the location
Buildings that face towards the south provide you with greater sunlight. Greater sun exposure increases internal heat, reducing your reliance on heating systems. It’s also important that you check with the local council to avoid building on natural animal habitats or other sensitive areas. Ensure your new building is near transport links to reduce fuel emissions from cars. Considering the location shows you can make your building indirectly efficient too. Avoid building on undeveloped land as this requires considerable excavation.
2. Choose the right materials
Consider the source, maintenance costs and local climate when choosing building materials. Wood is a sustainable material given that trees can be replanted. Concrete has a high thermal mass, making it suitable for the UK’s inclement weather climate. Consider the maintenance necessary to keep these materials in good condition. For instance, glass requires routine cleaning which can be a financial drain for high-rise buildings.
3. Create a passive solar building
A passive solar building collects heat as the sun shines through south-facing windows and retains it in materials that store heat. Materials with a high thermal mass are important in cold climates whereas lightweight materials are suitable for hot climates. It’s also worth implementing structures that capture passive breezes, thereby reducing your reliance on air conditioning or cooling systems. Skylights are a good installation for cold environments.
4. Promote building insulation
Insulate attics and wall cavities to prevent heat from escaping the building. Poor insulation causes you to rely on central heating and increases your energy consumption. Consider installing double-glazed windows to reduce heat loss further and decrease noise pollution. Add curtains to your windows to create an extra barrier to heat loss.
5. Consider the size
Aim to make the building as small as possible, favouring practicality over grandeur. This is because, for every square inch you add to your building design, the energy consumption increases. Smaller buildings cool down quicker and require less energy to them. They also require fewer building materials.
6. Consider appliances
Look for energy-efficient appliances for your home or building. Modern appliances are generally more energy-efficient than older ones as they follow current efficiency standards. Check the labels on appliances to determine their Energy Rating by which A is very energy efficient and G is not energy efficient.
You can read more about UK energy ratings here. Other appliances to consider implementing to decrease energy consumption include automatic lights and low-flow water fixtures.