Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Energy is one of the important entries for economic and social development. Due the depletion of fossil fuel resources rapidly which cover a significant portion of world energy needs, and due to the threatening of human life by increase in the greenhouse gas emissions and due to the destruction of the ozone layer therefor depending on the rapid increase of energy consumption in the process of industrialization, the energy supply and its effective use became one of today's most important issues. For this reason, the countries are forced to issue and implement Energy Efficiency Laws in the direction of increasing the effectiveness in the use of energy resources and energy in order to prevent energy wastes and decrease the burden of the energy cost on economy and to protect the environment.

Energy efficiency is defined as the minimization of the amount of energy consumed without degrading the quantity and quality of the production, and without jeopardizing the economic development and social welfare.

The energy surveys made in different sectors have shown that the energy consumption by buildings is almost the same as for the industry and it is near 40 % of the total energy consumption. This amount of energy consumption in buildings, similar to that of industry, plays a great role in the destruction of ozone layer by greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is important that the energy savings should be considered in the building systems wherever applicable. It is anticipated that almost 20 % energy saving can be achievable in buildings when corrective measures are taken by the Energy Managers.

Energy Use in Buildings

The commercial building sector uses less than 20% of the total final energy produced by society. This is comprised of almost equal quantities of coal, gas, oil and electricity. Buildings other than domestic buildings as such are considered to be Commercial Buildings:

  • Industrial Buildings
  • Marketing Buildings
  • Business Centers
  • Education Centers
  • Cultural Centers
  • Health Centers
  • Social Centers
  • Sport Centers

The Primary Uses of Energy in Commercial Buildings

  • Heating and Cooling
  • Ventilation
  • Air Conditioning
  • Hot Water
  • Running Appliances, Particularly Office Machinery
  • Lighting

Some of these uses resemble those in the domestic sector but the scale is often different and strategies need to account for the differences between home and work environments. Although the commercial sector is a relatively small user of total final energy it has been a leader in energy efficiency. Savings can often be made through changes to work practices or in conjunction with building renovations. Such changes can be cost effective in the short term. This is therefore a very attractive area for energy savings and one in which local government has a major role.

Energy Saving Methods in Buildings

The technical options available for energy savings in the building sector are similar to industrial sector. However, they principally relate to the equipment of smaller sizes in areas such as:

  • Boilers
  • Condensers
  • Heat Exchangers
  • Heat Recovery Systems
  • Hot Water and Steam Piping
  • HVAC
  • Insulating Cold and Hot Surfaces
  • Pumps and Water Pipes
  • Air Compressors and Compressed Air Lines
  • Diesel Generators
  • Transformers
  • Electric Motors
  • Lighting and Illumination Systems