How can we reduce our energy consumption?
Today marks National Cut Your Energy Costs Day which aims to encourage people to explore and share the ways in which they can reduce their energy consumption.
Across our practice, we are constantly thinking about new and innovative ways we can make smarter and more environmentally friendly decisions for the buildings and places we shape. our buildings and how they might interact with these spaces.
By gaining a deep understanding of these interactions, across the whole spectrum of building topologies, over a number of years, we can help guide you in making smart decisions when it comes to your energy consumption. As the global energy crisis impacts us all, now it is more important than ever to consider our energy usage habits.
As architects and building consultants, we can help you in making the best decisions to reduce your energy consumption. By considering a building’s form, fabric and materials, as well as understanding that every building has its own unique qualities.
Keeping your energy from escaping - We can start by reducing uncontrolled air leakage. The more air that escapes, the less energy efficient the building will be. Plus, drafts can be uncomfortable and affect the way people enjoy using buildings.
Decarbonisation strategies - We can help you to make informed decisions as part of your estates strategy and prioritse the decarbonisation of your assets in an informed and strategic way.
Retrofitting - We can help improve the energy efficiency of homes by retrofitting a range of renewable energy solutions, including photovoltaics.
Passivhaus design - We design to Passivhaus standards, with consideration to the window area, orientation and thermal performance, which will help to reduce convective air movement due to heat differential.
Fabric first - By adopting a ‘fabric first’ approach to designing, we can let the building do more of the work, reducing significantly the requirement to use heating and cooling.
Passive solar light - We design spaces that reduce the need for artificial lighting and can also have a wealth of benefits to a person’s health and wellbeing.
Energy saving equipment - It’s important to ensure that energy use is being controlled with modern, energy saving equipment. For example, changing your current heating system to an air source heat pump to provide heating and/or hot water could save a 104 m2 detached house 8,323 kWh per year.
The government’s department of energy and climate change provides more information and guidance on keeping buildings warm. Read more here.
There are also easy, no cost actions consumers can take when thinking about how we use our homes, schools or offices to increase energy efficiency.
Be water smart - Make smart decisions when it comes to water usage - taking a shower instead of a bath will not only reduce your energy bill but your water bill too.
Lower temperature washes - Try washing your clothes at a lower temperature. On average, you could save around £40 a year by changing your temperature from 40°C to 30°C.
Switch it down - Turning your combi boiler flow temperature down to 60°C could save you up to £100 a year.
Switch it off - If it isn’t being used, switch it off. Whether you’re finishing a day at the office or logging off at home, remember to switch off your computer. This also goes for any electrical appliance in your home
Track your usage - By installing a smart meter or thermostat, you can monitor the amount of energy you are using and identify where smarter steps can be taken.
For more advice on energy saving tips, visit here.
See how we have created energy efficient spaces
Replacement Woodmill and St Columba’s High Schools, is set to be the UK’s largest Passivhaus education building.
Throughout our long-term partnership with WDH (formerly Wakefield District Housing), we have provided a broad range of building consultancy services on new-build, refurbishment and conversion projects, creating safe, sustainable communities.
Conwy Council Offices provide an exemplar highly energy efficient building and is a major step change in the quality of office spaces.
We provide services and solutions which cover the full life-cycle of the Calderdale Council estate.
Stanley Street Car Park has been designed to minimise energy consumption through optimisation of passive design.
Joseph Priestley Building demonstrates the sustainable refurbishment of a complex and inefficient 1960s university building.
Learn more about our wider commitment to sustainability.
Jan 10th 2023