Decisions to improve energy efficiency stem from multiple sources. Enforceable energy codes dictate some choices in new construction. Budget concerns will determine the difference between the best life-cycle cost choices and what can actually be afforded. Home energy audits identify existing points of energy loss and suggest areas of potential improvement. Becoming aware of very old and emerging technologies for energy efficiency, is enough to get the wheels turning for some. A desire to improve the environment is motivation for many. Whatever the reason, the decision to help conserve our natural resources is a good investment in the future. Many steps that can be taken, both during the design process and after structures are completed, to reduce the use of energy. These include passive steps like insulating and tightening the building envelope. In line with this is installing more efficient doors, windows and skylights which are normally holes in those envelopes. In the design phases, choices can be made while positioning buildings on site, to strategically allow or preclude solar gain, admit or deny natural ventilation and maximize or minimize shade as needed for different seasons. After all has been accomplished that can be done to passively minimize energy use, active technologies can be installed to recapture energy or generate power for internal use or storage. Whatever the reason behind them, this course encourages and examines the impact of decisions and methods to conserve energy. Because all such actions ultimately result in a desirable preservation of natural resources for the security of generations to come.
Hours: 3 HSW Hours