In recent years, growing awareness of the need to preserve non-renewable natural resources and reduce negative impacts on the environment have shifted the focus of building designers, causing them to create more sustainable, environmentally friendly designs. The main goals of sustainable building design are to reduce the depletion of critical resources, such as water, energy, and raw materials; prevent the environmental damage caused by facilities throughout their life cycle; and to create built environments that are comfortable, safe, and healthy. Current sustainable design trends in South Florida include an increased focus on energy efficiency, the development of zero net energy buildings, the use of naturally sourced, sustainable building supplies, and the retrofitting and greening of existing buildings as opposed to building new facilities.
The drive to increase the energy efficiency of buildings has been growing for some time, along with a push to reduce reliance on traditional energy sources. The development of cloud-based technologies has increased the ability of intelligent buildings to handle large amounts of data, allowing them to employ building automation systems that manage the various building systems more effectively. This has led to vast improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings, significantly reducing energy waste and associated costs. More buildings are relying on solar power to produce some or all of their electrical needs, finding it an effective way of reducing traditional energy usage and improving sustainability. There has been an increase in the design and operation of zero net energy buildings, which produce roughly the same amount of energy they use. Recently, there have even been some net-positive facilities created; these exceptional buildings actually produce more energy than they use.
Since the introduction of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the use of naturally sourced and sustainable building supplies has steadily increased. Exciting new products are currently in development, such as self-repairing concrete, which uses bacteria that releases calcium carbonate to fill in holes and cracks in the concrete. Mushroom insulation has been developed that can be grown in a mold or inside a wall cavity. It has proven to be fire-resistant, is fully compostable, contains no formaldehyde or other harmful chemicals, and is an effective insulator. Expect to see these and other new nature-based technologies take center stage in sustainable building designs.
Building design in the past focused on the creation of new structures, but there has been a definite shift in philosophy with designers now dedicated to improving the energy efficiency of existing structures. One of the difficulties in retrofitting existing buildings is the need to integrate building control systems from different manufacturers, but some modern building automation systems are employing various open protocols to communicate and combine the diverse systems. Improvements in insulation, equipment upgrades, advanced heat-recovery technology, and the installation of energy-efficient lighting are helping to decrease the amount of energy wasted in these older structures, which also reduces the amount of greenhouse gases produced.
Are you ready to enjoy the energy-saving benefits these sustainable design trends can bring? Whether you are involved in new building design or have an existing structure you need to have retrofitted, Advanced Control Corporation is here to help! As a leader in sustainable building design, Advanced Control has been at the forefront of green building in South Florida, helping thousands of buildings to reduce their carbon footprint and become more energy efficient since 1987. Our specialists’ extensive experience providing building automation, access control, CCTV systems and energy management systems makes them the perfect partners to assist your organization in improving its environmental, energy, and financial performance. Contact Advanced Control Corporation today at 954-491-6660 to discover more ways today’s sustainable design trends can improve your building’s energy efficiency!