Building envelope projects are increasingly gaining recognition because of the energy efficiency they deliver. The design of the building envelope provides some of the best possibilities for getting an energy efficient home credit. In addition, it produces a vast range of advantages for both commercial and residential projects.
The Importance of Energy Efficient Building Envelope
Outdated building envelope solutions lead to significant heat loss, which decreases the energy efficiency of the building.
Residential and commercial buildings add up to almost 40 percent of the US energy consumption. Most of the energy is dedicated to heating and cooling. The loss of heat results in additional energy use, higher utility bills and an increased carbon footprint.
The building envelope acts as a barrier between the inside of the building and the external environment. Many innovative solutions (like the use of modern insulation materials) boost the energy efficiency of the envelope and give access to financial stimuli like an energy efficient home credit.
Benefits of Building Envelope Improvements
Building envelope improvements increase the attractiveness of both residential buildings and office/commercial spaces. There are several main reasons why investors are increasingly demonstrating interest in higher building envelope energy efficiency.
Poor building envelope design could contribute to anywhere between 30 and 50 percent of the electricity bill due to the loss of heat. A “leaky” building is very expensive to maintain and the comfort level is low.
Contemporary building envelope solutions improve air quality and facilitate moisture management. Modern construction projects usually feature efficient ventilation systems alongside the building envelope improvements. These two factors contribute to the already mentioned benefits.
Improving Energy Efficiency
It’s relatively easy to improve energy efficiency through the selection of the right building envelope design. Responsible architects and engineers know how to correct air leakage problems in existing buildings and how to boost the energy efficiency of new constructions.
Building envelope modifications and projects that give access to an energy efficient home credit could be any of the following:
- The use of passive solar heating
- The selection of the right building envelope materials
- The strategic addition of insulation to the building envelope
- The selection of the right roof design and materials
- The strategic placement of doors and windows to minimize heat loss.
The Cost of Building Envelope Improvements
Calculating the building envelope design and execution costs in advance will help you figure out whether the project is going to bring the expected return on investment.
Keeping the amount of money that’s going to be saved through such projects in mind will be great for budget planning. The installation of an Energy Star window, for example, can save anywhere between 125 and 465 dollars per year on electricity for heating and cooling.
The addition of insulation to a residential building will decrease utility bills by nearly 12 percent, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions reports.
Don’t forget that building envelope projects will also give you access to an energy efficient home credit. This financial stimulus decreases the cost of execution further and boosts the attractiveness of investment in energy efficient solutions.
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