Green building practices are becoming more prevalent as international awareness of the need for sustainable, energy efficient designs continues to spread. The goal of green construction (also known as green building or sustainable building) is to create structures that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient through their entire life cycle, reducing the impact of the build on the environment and human health. At every stage of the building, from siting and initial design, through construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and even demolition, energy efficiency, sustainability, and environmental impact are addressed.
The use of sustainable building supplies, such as reused or recycled materials or those made from renewable resources, lessens the negative impact of building construction, and incorporating low VOC-emitting building materials improves the indoor environmental quality of a building. High-performance windows, extra insulation in walls, ceilings, and floors, and reducing air leakage through the building envelope decreases energy waste. Daylighting, the practice of orienting windows to take advantage of natural light, the use of solar water heating, and on-site generation of renewable energy through solar, wind, or hydro power are excellent ways of improving a building’s energy sustainability.
A crucial component of green building is improving the energy efficiency and indoor environment of a building during its operation. One of the most effective ways green building design improves South Florida building energy efficiency and sustainability is by using a building automation system to integrate the building’s mechanical, electrical, and security systems. Research has shown that temperature control and lighting account for more than half of the energy used in commercial buildings. A building automation system monitors and manages the lighting, heating, and cooling of a facility, preventing energy from being wasted in unused areas. Commercial real estate is typically unoccupied approximately 30% to 40% of the time, so employing a building automation system to manage the heating, cooling, and lighting of a building can reduce energy usage by up to 30%.
Lighting control is an effective way of improving a building’s energy efficiency. Building automation systems use time and zone controls to turn off lights in any area of a building that is unoccupied, relying on occupancy sensors to indicate when people move from area to area and switching the lights on or off accordingly. Lighting control can be applied to indoor areas such as offices, cubicles, cafeterias, and storage areas as well as outdoor parking lots, garages, walkways, and signs.
Using a building automation system for temperature control helps accomplish two green building goals, increasing a building’s energy efficiency as well as improving the indoor environment. Temperature control improves energy efficiency by insuring that each area of the building is accurately monitored, maintaining the specified set temperature points and analyzing energy use to provide energy savings while still maintaining the comfort of the inhabitants. The gains in energy efficiency that are achieved with a building automation system are not limited to new builds. While new green buildings are designed from the ground up to minimize environmental impact and maximize resource efficiency, installing a building automation system is an excellent way to improve the building energy efficiency and sustainability of an existing structure.
Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of green building practices in your facility? Whether you are designing a new facility or renovating an existing structure, Advanced Control Corporation can help! As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and a leader in energy conservation, Advanced Control Corp has been at the forefront of green building in South Florida for over twenty years. Our specialists have helped thousands of buildings use building automation, energy management systems, and access control to maximize their building’s energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint. Contact Advanced Control at 954-491-6660 to get started on the path to greater energy efficiency today!