How To Make Buildings Energy Efficient

Eco-Friendly Architecture

Save Water, Save Money

In South Africa water is a very scarce resource and we can save water by using various products. We did some research in aerators (also called flow regulators). The flow regulators work by mixing air into the water flow, this reduces the amount of water passing through the taps. You can get this at your closest hardware store. Aerators can reduce your water use & water bill by up to 50%.

Energy Star Electronic Products

When making changes in your energy consumption, try to use highly energy efficient products. Energy star labels can be found on the product. For example, a certified front load washing machine will use 40% less water and half the energy of a regular washing machine (older washing machine). This applies to all electronics, including: lights, cooking equipment etc. ENERGY STAR computer will use up to 65% less electricity than a non-certified version. Think about the savings you could make for an entire office and home.

Thermal Isolation

Heat is a big problem in South Africa and most of us are used to artificial cooling in our homes - but that can be costly to maintain. Heat gain in homes & offices mostly comes through the roof structure. Insulated ceilings can retard the flow of heat into the living areas in the summer have a reverse effect in the winter. This means cooler homes in the summer and warmer homes in the winter, providing a more comfortable living environment throughout the year. This saves costs on heating and cooling.

Cool Tech Paint

“Acrylic water base”: Cool tech paint that reflects at least 30% of solar heat, resulting in a cooler interior and saves energy costs by decreasing air-conditioning needs; leading to increased comfort for building occupants. Pure acrylic is perfect for all weather protection. Pure acrylic has excellent UV and weather resistance, resists fading and chalking, and is APEO free (this means it’s safe if you use it as a roof paint for non-potable rainwater harvesting and aquatic life). This product can be used for various roof types including the exterior, interior trims and walls. Most of the cool tech paint has colour fast technology for long lasting colour that does not fade.

Grey Water Harvesting / Rain water Harvesting

By installing a Grey Water Harvesting System you can save up to 30% of your water usage.

How a greywater system works:

Greywater comes from basins, baths, showers and washing machines that have pipes connected to a tank. The greywater is held briefly in the tank before being used in an irrigation- or treatment system. The greywater can be diverted either by gravity or by using a greywater pump.

There are lots of benefits for installing a Grey Water Harvesting System / Rain water Harvesting System:

  • • It ensures water supply in the event of droughts, shortages or even cut-offs throughout the storage system.
  • • Reduces pressure on your waste water systems, translating to less wear-and tear.
  • • Grey Water / Rain water is healthy for gardens (yes, even fruit and vegetable gardens) as it is high in nutrients for lawns and plants.
  • • Consistent irrigation remains possible even when water restrictions are in place.

Grey Water Harvesting System / Rain water Harvesting is Sustainable and a big part in an Eco-friendly lifestyle.

High Pressure Solar Geysers

A solar geyser can help you save up to 90% on your water heating costs, and significantly lower your energy bill as it doesn’t require a main connection – Make sure you install the proper size solar geyser for the house hold. As a guideline, allocate 50 liters of warm water per person in a dwelling and add an extra 50 liters for general domestic use. This should give you an estimate of the tank size you need to install. Free, renewable energy at all times – solar geysers will continue to heat your water even on cloudy days. Solar power reduces our dependence on fossil fuels, allowing us to use renewable energy that would have been wasted otherwise. The quality of the water doesn’t influence the solar geyser system. Since you don’t have to depend on electricity to supply hot water, it also benefits homes with no access to electricity. Solar heating systems are strong and weather resistant.

Utilizing Landscaping & Vegetation

Vegetation and landscaping can be used to reduce the direct sunlight on your building. Plants can be used directly on a wall to cool down a structure or to create a whole new structure. Rows of leafy trees or tall, dense shrubs can funnel air to open windows, their shade and transpiration cools the air as it moves through. In summer the beautiful trees will shield your building with optimal shade to keep the house cool and comfortable. In the winter when the trees loses their lush green leaves and it will let through the sunlight to warm up the building.