How New Buildings Maximize Energy Savings
Planning energy efficiency from the start is the best opportunity to maximize energy savings.
New ground-up building construction offers opportunities to maximize energy savings and sustainability. Teams can employ an entire building approach — choosing systems, materials, technology, and strategies that work together from the very beginning. This multi-disciplinary approach combines energy-efficient solutions (building envelope, mechanical systems, lighting, plumbing, etc.) to deliver a sustainability-focused building that maximizes the coordination between systems.
With new construction comes compliance with the latest building energy code, which already requires a focus on increased levels of energy efficiency. Beyond that, a new facility may choose to go above local requirements and seek additional certifications like LEED or WELL. The conversation can address material procurement and advanced strategies — for example, stormwater collection or green roofs. There are varying upfront costs associated with different system choices. However, these costs and long-term payback can be built into the financial planning of the project, with potential for offset by available funding opportunities.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 40 percent of the nation’s total energy consumption last year came from the residential and commercial sectors. When faced with these figures, it is easy to see the importance and opportunity that existing buildings pose for reclaiming energy. There is a significant opportunity to reduce energy usage in both new and existing buildings.
Kristen Pecci (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a project manager and an electrical engineer at WB Engineers+Consultants. She has more than 10 years of experience working with a variety of clients and project ranging from commercial tenant fit-outs to electrical infrastructure to specialty lighting.