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Demand For Energy Efficient Homes Construction Essay

Energy saving in buildings has become a question of crucial importance in many countries. At the same time, the requirements for satisfactory indoor climate with low electricity consumption have increased which prompt the supply and demand for energy efficient homes. The battle against global warming shall start from home insulation to reduce green house gas emission. In developed countries, government has even allowed tax credit to house owners for costs incurred in carrying out home insulation works which meets the urgent need in the fight against global warming. In Malaysia, the common answer from the public in general to make a house or office cool is probably by switching on the air conditioning. The roof of most houses is constructed using timber roof trusses and concrete roof tiles in Malaysia. The heat gained through the roof which convents through the ceiling has increased the indoor heat to a level that most house owners will not feel comfortable without the use of air conditioners. The impact that roofs have on energy is often overlooked, the impact of which can be significant. In homes, air conditioners make up 23% of energy consumption. Alternatively we can achieve the dream cool and comfort living or working environment despite in a very hot sunny day with the help of install the thermal insulation then will reduce the dependence on air conditioners to cool the home or office. This means insulating a home could potentially save thousands of ringgit in electricity bills. Install the thermal insulation in the wall or roof will increasing the cost of the building but the price tag on insulation is considered small when compared with the benefits including monthly savings in electricity bills throughout the lifespan of the house, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, improved comfort and living standards and a huge contribution to the local economic growth, as the insulation material is manufactured locally.

The researcher’s aim for conducting this research is to review the uses and identify the importance of thermal insulation. Besides that, to find out whether application of thermal insulation to the buildings is suitable to be adopted into construction industry in Malaysia.

Governments all over the world are beginning to realize the importance of reducing dependence on energy imports as fuel reserves becomes scarcer and supplies are concentrated on a few politically unstable countries. The building sector is probably the most effective and easiest way to start reducing energy consumption. Reduction in energy demand can be most effective due to applying thermal insulation to the buildings. Thermal insulation is the method of preventing heat from escaping a container or from entering the container. In other words, thermal insulation can keep an enclosed area such as a building warm, or it can keep the inside of a container cold.

Depending on the climate, we spend more or less energy on heating or cooling, but we will spend more energy on cooling the room by switch on the air conditioning in Malaysia. There have a main reason for using thermal insulation for reduction of heat coming in, without too much loss of light due to the hot climate in Malaysia. So, the demand of energy can be significantly reduced by install a thermal insulation into the wall or roof of those buildings. Thermal insulation has been introduced to reduce the demand of energy result in electric consumption costs up to 40% and the country's energy resources. This allows savings on the cost of the air-conditioning, because a smaller unit is needed, and on the running cost of the air conditioning. It also indeed creates a more comfortable living and working atmosphere.

Besides that, most of the people will switch on the air conditioning to keep the comfort in the room or working place in Malaysia. But, the air conditioners will release a haloalkanes which are a group of chemical compounds, consisting of chlorine, fluorine and carbon, called Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC). The CFC will among the "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere that contribute to future global warming. So, apply thermal insulation to the buildings will reduce using the air conditioning naturally will reduce the emission to the environmental also.

1.7 - Scope of Study

The research project has provided the idea and functions of thermal insulation to the buildings make a preliminary of understanding to it. Besides that, the advantages or importances that apply the thermal insulation to the buildings in Malaysia also fall within the scopes of this research project. In this study, I have studied into few buildings in Malaysia which have installed the thermal insulation such as Pusat Tenaga Malaysia Zero Energy Office (ZEO) building at Bandar Baru Bangi and Low Energy Office (LEO) Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications Malaysia at Putrajaya. Based on these buildings, I will study the benefits that obtain from the buildings which have applied thermal insulation to the wall and roof in this research project. In addition, I will inquire into the applicability of thermal insulation in the buildings in Malaysia.

When the heat is flow whether by forced or natural, within a fluid and the fluid is a substance that may be either a gas or a liquid, this process is called convection.(Zhang, et al. 2005) Convection will then gravitationally-induced heat transport, driven by the expansion of a fluid on heating then hot expanded fluid has lower density, so will rise to the top of colder, and therefore denser, fluid.(Fowler, 2008) For example, when air to be heated, then it will expands and rise. However, if the air movement is established mechanically by a floor register, fan, or wind, then it will be called as a forced convection.

2.3 – Summary

Thermal insulation is a materials or combination materials which can be used as many functions for buildings, however thermal insulation most to be used to reduce heat transfer from come out a building or from go in a building through convection, conduction and radiation. The thermal insulation is divided into fibrous insulation, cellular insulation and granular insulation. Besides, there are many forms of thermal insulation such as Traditional Batt Insulation or Alternatives, Blown-In Cellulose Insulation, Rigid Board Insulation and etc. and each form of thermal insulation have their own properties. Then, the R-value and U-value are use to indicate how well for a thermal insulation material insulates for the buildings. Thermal insulation not only can use for to reduce heat loss or heat gain through the exterior assemblies of a building in order to achieve energy conservation, but also to reduce the emissions of environment. Besides that, prevent or reduce condensation on surfaces and slow down the spread of fire also are the functions of thermal insulation for buildings. However, thermal insulation also can be installed in the mechanical system in commercial buildings and industrial processes in order to improve the energy consumption of buildings, dominate the temperatures of the surface for personnel and equipment protection, control the temperature of commercial and industrial processes and reduce sound and noise transmission from mechanical system. In Malaysia, thermal insulation is seldom to apply for buildings but also found that some commercial buildings such as LEO buildings, ZEO buildings, GEO buildings and etc, which have install thermal insulation for these buildings to achieve energy saving, money saving and pollution reduction for individual and also the environment.

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