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Nearly all of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the building sector can be attributed to energy use in buildings. An integrated approach provides the best opportunity to achieve significant GHG reductions from the buildings sector, because many different building elements interact with one another to influence overall energy consumption. However, certain key building elements can play a significant role in determining a buildingââ‚¬â„¢s energy use and associated GHG emissions. [i]
Regulation of solar impact through appropriate fenestration and shading devices. A common and highly effective approach is to specify glazing with low emissivity (low-e) coatings and high R-values to reduce solar heat gain/loss. Shading strategies, such as vertical fins on east and west fenestrations, overhangs on the south side, arcades, trees and deep window insets, are also effective components of passive solar design. [iii]
Regardless of outside temperature, heat can be gained through windows by direct or indirect solar radiation. The ability to control this heat gain through windows is characterized in terms of the SHGC (Solar heat gain coefficient) of the window. SHGC is the ratio of solar heat gain that passes through fenestration to the total incident solar radiation that falls on the fenestration. Solar heat gains include directly transmitted solar heat and absorbed solar heat, which is re- radiated, conducted, on converted into the interior space. (Fig. 5.2)
The building and construction sector is one of the key sectors for sustainable development. The construction, use and demolition of buildings generate substantial social and economic benefits to society, but also cause significant environmental impacts from the use of energy, water and other natural resources. To achieve a sustainable community, these impacts have to be minimized. The percentage of the total energy used in non-industrial buildings varies from one country to another and is usually between 30% and 50%. The energy used by the built environment varies from 50% to 70%. [vi] Figure 1 show the energy used in the building sector in OECD countries. [vii] OECD-11
In India commercial buildings are a major source of high electricity consumption because of lack of awareness and careless usage of electricity by existing buildings not designed for air-conditioning purposes. The other major reason is illiteracy and poor buying power leading to almost zero penetration of energy efficient devices. Both commercial and residential establishments with installed air-conditioning systems in almost all the six climatic zones of the country lacks the usage of energy efficient devices and basic practices like building insulation. All this leads to a considerable overconsumption of electricity in a country, which is already suffering from a power deficit.
The topics discussed within this chapter from different recourses conclude that the amount of energy consumed in commercial buildings mainly depends on the fabric design of the building and its systems and how they are operated. The heating cooling & lighting systems consume more than half of the total energy consumed by the building; however controls such as programmable thermostats and building energy management systems can significantly reduce the energy use of these systems. It is important to address these critical areas including Envelope, HVAC & lighting systems to reduce the energy requirements of the building to achieve the required comfort conditions.