Design principles

Offices in particular have traditionally been extravagant users of energy because, in relation to all other costs, energy is a relatively minor fraction of the total annual budget. In many cases the major electricity cost is incurred by lighting. The 1980s sealed glass box may use energy at a rate of over 500 kWh/m2/year. Currently, best practice is in the region of 90 kWh/m2/year. The aim of the architect under the sustainability banner is to maximise comfort for the inhabitants whilst minimising, ultimately eliminating, reliance on fossil-based energy.

The Movement for Innovation (M4I) has produced six performance indicators as conditions for sustainable design. They are designed to validate or otherwise claims that buildings are 'green'.

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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