The recent British Council conference, Buildings of Today and Tomorrow’s Reality, gave us a few useful tips when designing and building energy-efficient, sustainable buildings. Here are 23 things to do when designing green buildings…

Did you know that 72 percent of total electricity, 39 percent of total energy and 14 percent of total water consumption take place in buildings? The buildings we live in and work in are also responsible for 28 percent of the CO2 emissions and 30 percent of total waste.

That’s why green buildings are becoming the new trend for a greener, sustainable and energy-efficient world. The recent conference “Buildings of Today and Tomorrow’s Reality,” held by the British Council and the Ministry of Public Works and Settlements’ General Directorate of Construction Affairs, showed us that there are more than a few ways to save energy when designing your green building.

Experts, architects and designers shared a few hints for green buildings. Make sure to use the following:

  1. Spectrally-selective glasses,
  2. Light pipes for lighting,
  3. R410 gas, one of the most environment friendly coolants, as coolant for water,
  4. Floor heating for wet areas,
  5. CO2 sensors to check the return air in air conditioning,
  6. Self-insulated polyurethane ducts to eliminate leakage and for assuring hygienic conditions,
  7. Solar panels on roofs for electricity,
  8. Wind turbines for extra electricity,
  9. Solar collectors for hot water supply,
  10. Ground source heat pump for getting maximum use of the constant soil temperature underground for hot water in winter and cold water in summer,
  11. Frequency control in pumps and fans for minimising energy,
  12. Daylight tubes for transferring outside daylight to interior spaces,
  13. Energy analysers for monitoring total power consumption,
  14. Waterless urinals,
  15. Vegetation native to the area with minimum water requirement when landscaping,
  16. Thermal insulation on the roof and the walls for minimising heat gain and loss,
  17. Triple-glazing of the windows for heat loss and external noise reduction,
  18. Ice storage during the night when the electricity cost is the lowest to be used during the day for cooling,
  19. Multi-sensors sensitive to daylight and motion for the control of lighting switches,
  20. A time-based programme for the lighting system,
  21. A second piping system for the reuse of grey water for toilets,
  22. Drip irrigation system with the collection of rainwater, and
  23. Heat stored in concrete and heat from computers for air conditioning


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