Green Building: Building Energy Use
Provider: Mason Contractors Association of America
In this module you will explore today's world view of energy efficiency is very different from the energy conservation mentality of the 1970s, which is recalled by those of us who were around then as a time of long lines at the gas pumps and diminished comfort in our homes and places of work. The energy efficiency model of today involves benefits, not sacrifices. In high performance buildings, energy efficient design begins with a methodical reduction of the building's heating and cooling loads - those imposed by climate and those generated by people and equipment. With all loads minimized, mechanical systems are then selected based on highest output for lowest fuel consumption.
The new efficiency means optimizing the performance of each of the building's components and systems both individually and in interaction with other energy consuming systems - air conditioning, lighting, domestic hot water, etc. This is known as the practice of 'design integration.' In tandem with other energy efficient practices, building systems integration can provide excellent returns on the initial investment. Current practice also embraces the use of renewable energy technologies that reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and help alleviate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.
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