We are stepping closer to an environmentally conscious generation. Our duty as citizens is to do our best to reverse or at least reduce the damage our lifestyle or activities are causing to the environment by increasing the carbon footprint.
Carbon footprint is the measure of the carbon released into the environment, which can harm the environment by worsening global warming.
One such practice or process that adds to the carbon footprint is building heating. Buildings are equipped with heating systems that increase the temperature of space. These heating systems generate heat by converting energy into heat. It is also made possible by free convection, forced convection, and radiation heat transfer.
In building heating systems, heat is generated by converting an energy source into heat or using a fuel. This heat increases the air temperature to be blown to the space or through a heat transfer fluid pumped to a heat exchanger centred in the space.
Building heating systems manage and control indoor temperature, especially during winter. If the movement of the heat is not properly managed and controlled, it can lead to increased levels of carbon footprint. Here are several tips that you can use in the building design to reduce building heating to attain zero carbon footprint.
- Consider Windows and Shading
A great way to promote cooling in the building is to position windows and shading right. The goal should be to provide good insulation through rightly positioned windows. External horizontal shading, including louvres and overhangs, can be a great addition to reducing building heating. As for west and east-facing windows, they can be challenging to shade. External shutters should be preferred to prevent and mitigate building heating.
- Glazes and Paints
Special pigments are now a popular and preferred way of reducing building heat. Buildings are painted with unique colours that are formulated to ricochet solar radiation. This applies to both the infrared spectrum and locations with well-lit sections of the building. These have proven effective at reducing the surface temperature by 10°C and more as against conventional paints. Moreover, solar glazing on windows can also help reduce building heating.
- Consider the Building Materials
The high thermal mass of bricks, stone, or concrete makes buildings built with these materials much cooler. This is because they can absorb and release heat gradually. Modern buildings, however, have lower thermal mass. And if they are made with timber, they generally have a lower thermal mass; they cause less environmental damage.
- Water Evaporation
As it has been well-known, water absorbs heat, which later evaporates as it rises, pushing down the cooler air. This simple phenomenon has resulted in the development of cooling systems, which utilise natural ventilation and water to make the building cooler by reducing indoor temperature.
Atomising nozzles and sprayers are some of the techniques used to evaporate water. The water is evaporated in wind catchers, towers, or double skin walls – any feature forming a channel where water vapour or hot air can rise while the cool air sinks. These systems can be really effective when it comes to reducing building heating; this applies if the weather is relatively dry and has temperatures as low as 14°C.
Collective Efforts Count
The environment cannot be saved by one individual but by the collective effort of many – our society in general. Commercial establishments are an excellent place to start, as they house numerous inhabitants. You can use the tips mentioned earlier to reduce your carbon impact and create a healthier ecosystem for the future.