In this three-part series, we are discussing many of the design features being implemented into eco-friendly structures. In the first section, we covered a few technologies that promote generating energy from sunlight including photovoltaic-powered technologies and automatically adjusting lighting systems. In this section, a construction lawyer in Clarksville, TN will discuss green alternatives to HVAC units and ways that tenants can save money by converting to a renewable energy resource.
Natural ventilation is the technology that supplies air and removes air in interior spaces. Generally, “breathing buildings” allow wind access through an opening in the perimeter of the structure that creates air flow. Another concept becoming more common in eco-friendly structures is an enthalpy wheel which is a device that transfers fresh air from one airstream into another. This device also dehumidifies and removes toxins from the used air when it creates the fresh air.
Airtight Structures and High Performance Glass
Conversely, many popular LEED-certified structures utilize vented windows keeping the natural elements outside. Although some of these designs may still require some HVAC cooling in the summertime, these technologies can greatly reduce the amount of work your HVAC unit is required to perform. Architects and contractors are also utilizing high performance glass to both heat and cool buildings. Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) glass can reduce electric bills by controlling the amount of heat that is capable of entering the structure. Thermo-controlled glass ceilings, large panel windows, and sun shades are all ways that windows can greatly reduce HVAC costs and control light and the interior temperature.
Second Skin Design
One proposed design in Moscow, known as Crystal Island, aspires to be the best of both the open air and airtight worlds as the design plans to utilize a renewable technology known as “second skin” that acts much like a retractable roof that opens and closes at a sports venue. With “second skin” capabilities, the structure theoretically could open to welcome in breezy air in the summer and close to keep out frigid temperatures in the wintertime.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Another renewable resource is taking heat directly from the Earth and repurposing it. Many people are not aware that there is at least six feet of internal heat beneath the surface of the Earth. This solar energy can be distracted and dispersed through a geothermal heating system providing a building with a renewable source of HVAC.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.