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Sustainable Buildings

April 28, 2011


Sustainable building aims at reducing the environmental impact of new buildings. Buildings account for a large amount of land use, energy and water consumption, and air and atmosphere alteration, thus causing a big impact upon environment. Sustainable building brings together a vast array of practices and techniques to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impact of new buildings on the environment and human health.

Buildings exist primarily to provide a healthy and comfortable environment in which people can work and live. The indoor environment must be maintained at a comfortable and healthy temperature, have an adequate supply of fresh air, be free from damp, droughts and pollutants and be quiet and well lit. A comfortable indoor environment has to rely on the use of energy for lighting, ventilation, heating and/or cooling. The building sector alone accounts for 30-40 percent of global energy use.

In buildings such as dwellings or office buildings, ventilation is necessary to provide comfort and health for the occupants. Both the rational use of energy and the provision of good IAQ are important aspects of building design and refurbishment. There are potential conflicts between these requirements. The impact of possible energy saving measures on IAQ should always be assessed before their eventual adoption, and where unacceptable, the measure should be avoided.

ASHRAE has been advocating for healthy volume of fresh air and upgraded the ventilation rate in the ANSI/ASHRAE 62+ Standard to 20 ~ 30 CFM (35 ~ 50 CMH) depending on the nature of activity in the building. Ventilation removes or dilutes the pollutants, stale odors and provides a healthy and comfortable living environment.

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), an outcome of poor IAQ, is the condition of a building in which more than 20% of the occupants suffer from adverse health effects, but with no clinically diagnosable disease present.

Poor IAQ and SBS reports adverse consequences, other than occupational health problems, as loss of productivity and legal liability.

Meeting ASHRAE 62+ standard, provides the necessary fresh air for the building occupants but presents a tough challenge to the HVAC engineer. The outdoor air at a higher design level , needs to be conditioned to the level of the indoor design condition, which increases the air conditioning tonnage considerably. The recurring energy expense is another matter of concern.

A ventilating device equipped with an efficient energy recovery wheel is the first choice of an HVAC engineer. The air, exhausted for bringing in fresh air, takes with it, the energy used to condition it. The energy, so lost otherwise, can be recovered with the aid of energy recovery wheels and used to pre condition incoming fresh air and thus save energy.

DRI makes this possible without adding tonnage or significant increase in energy cost and gives you the triple advantage.

DRI “Green” products provide a complete solution for IAQ, Humidity Control and Energy Saving. They help to optimize energy performance of Air Conditioning Systems resulting in:

  • Considerable reduction in installed tonnage
  • Enhanced IAQ
  • Reduction in utility bills for entire life cycle
  • Higher Productivity and reduced health risks

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