Sustainability is not simply a buzzword. It has become and will remain at the forefront of design and engineering for decades to come because the conservation of resources and the intelligent planning of energy usage are necessary to reduce energy waste and increase the life cycle of the systems in use. Designing sustainable commercial electrical systems is the only way to move forward in order toleverage renewable energy and achieve maximum energy efficiency.
How Does Design Help in the Construction of Sustainable Buildings?
According to Ryan from TheGreenGateGroup “Intelligently designing electrical systems creates efficiencies not found in other projects.” It can reduce waste throughout the build of the project but also decrease operating costs, introducing energy savings, which in turn means less greenhouse gas emissions as a result of reduced energy usage.
What Parts of an Electrical System Can Be Improved to Increase Energy Efficiency?
- Lighting Systems
Lighting systems are some of the most energy-intensive systems designed for a building. Introducing high-efficiency lighting options, innovative light distribution systems and maximizing natural lighting are all ways that design can positively impact the lighting of any project.
- HVAC Systems
HVAC systems are large energy-intensive systems and if they are not properly and intentionally designed, they can negatively impact the energy consumption of a project. High-efficiency air handlers, well-designed ducting systems and intuitive heating and cooling systems all contribute to an efficient and sustainable building.
- Communication Systems
All buildings are laced with miles and miles of wires, many of those dedicated to the communications systems scattered throughout the area. While communication systems don’t draw as much energy as the HVAC and lighting systems, they can cause a large draw of unnecessary energy usage when improperly designed. Leveraging the newest communication technology can help large projects be more energy efficient.
What Other Factors Impact Energy Consumption?
Environmental controls such as heating, cooling and moisture control all play a decidedly important role in energy consumption, particularly in areas that experience extreme weather patterns. Advances in environmental controls can decrease the overall energy usage when it comes to the operations of any facility if they are properly implemented. This includes the use of renewable energy sources as much as possible in the development and operational phases of these systems.
How Does a Holistic Approach to Energy Savings and the Specific Requirements of the Electrical System Affect Operating Costs and Sustainability Goals?
A holistic approach, from the very beginning, can positively affect the operating costs and sustainability goals of any commercial electrical system by:
- Reducing redundancies that waste energy and squander resources.
- Implementing renewable energy to offset the use of traditional, carbon-based energy sources.
- Building systems in a way that they can be retrofitted easily as technologies change and advances are implemented.
A Sustainable Future: Designed from the Beginning
Properly designed electrical systems have the potential to be one of the most effective ways to reduce energy consumption and create a more sustainable future. Less wasted energy means more efficient systems, allowing for the transition to renewables and a more diverse grid possible.