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Sustainable Architecture

April 28, 2011

 

Green” or “sustainable” building involves the use of building practices and materials that use resources as efficiently as possible, while constructing healthier, more energy-efficient, and environment friendly buildings.

The reason for building greener places is really quite important. We need to live more lightly on the earth, because the degradation of our environment is compromising not only our survival, but the survival of most other living beings on this planet. We can no longer ignore the impact we have on the earth’s ecosystems. The way we live, the choices we make in providing for our needs, will have an enormous influence on the quality of life of those who will follow us. Now is the time to take responsibility for the consequences of our life styles!

How we build our buildings, both in design and choice of materials, is one of the most significant ways that we can affect our future. The related concepts of sustainable development and sustainability are integral to green building. Effective green building can lead to i) reduced operating costs by increasing productivity and using less energy and water, ii) improved public and occupant health due to improved indoor air quality, and iii) reduced environmental impacts. Practitioners of green building often seek to achieve not only ecological but also aesthetic harmony between a structure and its surrounding - natural and built environment.

Buildings are the major consumers of energy during their construction, operation and maintenance. It has been estimated that about 50% of the global energy demand is estimated due to the buildings. The energy requirements in buildings are increasing at a high pace in developing countries with rising economy. Energy consumption for buildings in India accounts for 30–40% of the total energy consumption.

The Solution Options: Energy Recovery Devices

As market needs for control of humidity, energy, IAQ, continue to rise, it is imperative to integrate heat/energy recovery devices to air-conditioning design. Air-conditioning system which consumes the maximum energy in the buildings need to be augmented with equipment that not only is able to elevate the ventilation levels but also is able to solve the classic dilemma of the designer where he is looking to solve the IAQ problems by increasing the ventilation rate but is also looking to curb the project cost as well as the running and operating costs.

Integrating the Enthalpy Wheel based equipment in HVAC Systems

The ability to transfer both sensible and latent heat makes the enthalpy wheel far more effective in energy recovery. The most widespread application of enthalpy (heat) wheels is for preconditioning fresh outside air before it is introduced to a building. The system can easily be tapped into an existing ventilation system.

Enthalpy Wheels based equipment

  • Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs)
  • Treated Fresh Air Units (TFAs)

 

Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs)

Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) have become very popular by providing the HVAC designer with an efficient solution. An Energy Recovery Ventilator is a type of mechanical equipment that features a heat exchanger combined with a ventilation system for providing controlled ventilation into a building. They provide adequate amount of fresh air with simultaneously recovering energy thereby keeping the project and the running cost down to bare minimum.

Treated Fresh Air Units (TFAs)

TFAs are typically used for treating/ preconditioning ventilation air i.e. fresh air as well as far achieving acceptable IAQ,  Humidity control. Energy conservation/ efficiency, and in the process reducing the building envelope.

 
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