5 Strategies for Saving Energy in the Construction Process

The construction industry, as you know, is one of the largest consumers of energy. However, the increase in energy demand in recent years and the energy crisis resulting from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine are becoming a turning point for achieving an environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient environment in construction.

In Europe as a whole, buildings account for around 40% of energy consumption and 36% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the latest data from the European Commission. This is because the construction and materials sector has a significant energy impact not only on the maintenance of buildings but also on the entire construction process, extraction and production of materials or their transportation. Beyond that, construction has returned to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, and according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this has led to an increase in building energy consumption of about 4% since 2020, the biggest increase in the last ten years.

Based on this data, as of September 2022, 40% of the world’s countries have mandatory or voluntary regulations or codes on the energy efficiency of buildings. Additionally, another tool that promotes sustainability is green building certification: a way to adopt and recognize higher building energy efficiency standards and broader sustainability benchmarks.

For this reason, now more than ever, developing strategies that promote sustainable development and reduce environmental impact should be a priority for the construction sector. Experts in the development of thermal insulation systems and building materials offer the following solutions:

  • Design of passive buildings and structures: With the entry into force of the latest edition of the Technical Building Code (CTE), a new regulation is emerging that will refocus the sector on the energy efficiency of buildings, as well as the health, comfort and safety of users. Designing passive buildings can maximize energy efficiency from the start, as this type of building accounts for up to one-tenth the cost of a traditional property of similar size. Tightness, complete absence of thermal bridges, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery or the use of windows with high insulating properties are just a small list of the characteristics of a passive building.
  • Integrated Renewable Energy: The implementation of renewable energy systems is one of the most important factors in improving energy efficiency. In this sense, solutions integrated into façade photovoltaic modules also provide high thermal insulation values and very good noise protection. In addition, low-temperature geothermal energy is a natural resource that can be used to produce heat, cooling and hot water in buildings.
  • Quality External Insulation System: A properly assembled system can mean savings of up to 60% on energy costs in both hot and cold climates. In addition, external thermal insulation systems guarantee not only an aesthetic advantage but also greater durability of the façade, as well as a significant improvement in living conditions.
    Green building: Green façades not only look attractive but also help reduce the effects of climate change by cooling, breaking down pollutants and protecting wildlife. For example, there are systems that provide a sustainable and durable green façade, which also increases the aesthetic value of the building.
  • Efficient management of water and electricity: Using energy-saving LED lighting instead of incandescent or fluorescent counterparts can significantly reduce energy consumption. Likewise, installing motion sensors and timers in common areas and low-traffic areas will ensure that lights only turn on when needed. On the other hand, introducing rainwater harvesting systems, drip irrigation, eliminating sprinklers and low-water consumption technologies during the construction phase can save much of the energy associated with pumping and treating water.
Publication date: 23 Oct 2023
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