Energy efficiency is a priority for anyone constructing a building — making energy-efficient building strategies more important than ever. When putting up a commercial building today, you have plenty of options to make it as energy-efficient as possible.
Energy-Efficient Building Must-Haves
The list of ways to save energy is long, so let’s take a look at the top seven must-haves for an energy-efficient building in 2019.
1. An Efficient Water-Heating System
Every building needs a way to heat its water. Water heating is actually one of the biggest expenses in a building when it comes to energy usage, accounting for around 15 percent of energy costs. There are varieties of ways you can upgrade the water-heating strategy of a building so that it accounts for less overall energy usage.
One method gaining in popularity is the solar-powered water heater. This heater uses solar energy to heat water, allowing the building to cut energy costs by a significant margin. You might also consider installing a tankless water heater or a high-efficiency heat pump water heater. Both of these can save you big money on water-heating costs of a building.
2. Proper Lighting
Lighting also influences the energy costs of a building, making your choice of lighting important. Use LED bulbs when possible and consider adding other efficient lighting items like dimmers, timers, and photocells.
You can also try using halogen incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescent lamps. Both of these are considered energy-efficient lighting choices when compared with regular bulbs.
3. Energy-Efficient Electronics
Some types of electronics use up more electricity than others. If you have many electronics, try swapping some of them out for versions that are ENERGY STAR-labeled. These will use less electricity, thus helping cut the energy bill.
4. An Energy-Efficient Roof
This can come in many forms, from a roof laden with miniature solar panels to a “cool roof” designed with special materials like clay or slate that minimizes heat gain from the sun. You might add a regular-sized solar panel or two to your roof, especially if you are in a sunny location. Solar panels can be your biggest weapon in the fight for energy-efficiency, next to proper insulation.
5. Energy-Efficient Appliances
You might also have a variety of appliances in your building, such as refrigerators, freezers, microwaves, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, and more. Having these items plugged in all the time puts a constant drain on energy usage.
Again, look for appliances that are ENERGY STAR labeled before you have them installed. Designed to use less energy, this makes a giant difference when you add them up.
6. Building Wrap
This product is a building wrap with a non-perforated membrane that will offer any building the highest level of protection against moisture, air, and wind. The IBC and IRC recognize Barricade® Wrap Plus as an air barrier. Made from breathable material Barricade Wrap Plus’s design allows moisture to pass through it without trapping it inside the cavity of the wall.
It is easy to install thanks to its designed translucence, and also resists bulk water from wind-driven rain, stops solar vapor drive, resists surfactants and UV rays, resists tears, and possesses superior strength thanks to its polyolefin non-woven composition.
When it comes to maximizing the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, a continuous moisture barrier like Barricade® Wrap Plus is helpful in creating an energy-efficient building.
7. Proper Ventilation
If you have a sufficiently airtight building, you will need sufficient ventilation. By having spot-ventilation systems like exhaust fans installed in areas like bathrooms and kitchens, as well as installing an energy-recovery ventilation system, you’ll be able to minimize energy loss while keeping the air in your building fresh and clean.
This can help you save energy costs while also counterbalancing your airtight building design with a clean and efficient method of maintaining indoor air quality.
Designing an Energy-Efficient Building is Easier than Ever
With the different options for maximizing energy efficiency, it has never been easier to create a building with the lowest possible energy costs, without sacrificing quality.
By using energy-efficient appliances and lighting, as well as installing an energy-efficient roof, proper ventilation, and a continuous weather-barrier solution like Barricade® Wrap Plus, you can ensure that your building will be protected and optimized from top to bottom when it comes to efficiently use and conserving energy in all its various forms.