Great improvements in the way we design and construct buildings are underway. Finally, the building industry, all of it from the ground up, is trying to change the game when it comes to environmental and economical standards by commencing a pilot of an Energy Retrofit Program. This includes HVAC, renewable energy sources, inner and outer insulation. Sustainability in the form of energy production versus energy use in a multi-family building is where it will start. The locale? New York.
The Energy Retrofit Program is a trial to acquire the ability to design and successfully carry out the construction or renovation of buildings, starting in affordable housing districts, that produce a near zero if not completely zero energy usage. Six teams consisting of architects, energy management, water management, HVAC, technology and real estate were given $75,000 to aid the projects and six months to complete them. While the pilot program is taking place in New York, some of the companies involved span across the US.
Programs similar to this have already been deployed in other countries. This one is largely based off of the Dutch program, Energiesprong. Despite the direct results of this New York trial, there will surely be other locally financed plans set into action. Cost and efficiency are always in demand.
The teams are:
- Chris Benedict, RA working with Riseboro Community Partnership
- Bright Power working with Magnusson Architecture and Planning, Dagher Engineering and Olive Branch Consulting
- The International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Technology along with Beacon Communities
- King and King Architects working with Rock PMC
- The Levy Partnership working alongside Joint Ownership Entity
- SWBR Architects working with Conifer Real Estate
Each team will have to incorporate high standards and cost effectiveness into their ideas. They will need to provide advancements as well as alternative ideas to current building specifications. Some ideas discussed to improve energy usage are more insulation to include the outer walls of the dwellings and improvements in the amount of energy used in air conditioning. Solar panels, having developed in bounds themselves, will also be employed.
With the growth programs like these will offer, all areas of building development and maintenance have an opportunity to expand and progress. The building materials, electrical options, utilities, appliances, windows, rooves, heating and air conditioning and architectural design are just a tip of the iceberg in line for changes.