Avoiding air conditioning the issues

• Whilst the avoidance of air conditioning, and thus reduction of plant, leads to a lower cost per m2 it may be that there are fewer 'usable' m2 across the site as a whole due to problems of the distribution of cooling and ventilation.

• Lower energy consumption is probable when air conditioning is not installed, but not always easy to quantify.

• Lower running costs for the building when avoiding air conditioning may be at the expense of staff satisfaction. The alternative of a balanced natural/mechanical system requires sophisticated design techniques which may pose too much of a challenge to system designers.

• Natural ventilation is claimed to be more adaptable but it is not always appreciated how this adaptability can be achieved.

• Naturally ventilated buildings are claimed to offer greater occupant satisfaction. This can create variable climate conditions at any given time, and the level of occupant satisfaction is difficult to measure on a constant basis.

• The drive towards green design has sometimes led to the use of untried and inadequately researched alternatives to air conditioning.

• Designers can place too much faith in arrows showing expected air flow when natural ventilation is used - a rigorous approach to patterns of expected air movement is necessary.

• Natural ventilation is less controllable.

• There is less plant to maintain without air conditioning, but what there is may be more complex because of modes of operation.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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