In this 3-part blog series, Cherie breaks sustainable design into three steps. The first covers reducing energy use through Passive Heating and Cooling, the second covers options with Mechanical Systems, and the third covers Indoor Air Quality, Water Efficiency and Sustainable Materials.
Mechanical Heating and Cooling:
After we have design the home with passive heating and cooling systems, the next step in creating a low energy use home is selecting and designing mechanical heating and cooling systems that meet your energy goals and fit your lifestyle. Though passive design, the amount of heating and cooling should be greatly reduced, which in turn means you will need a smaller mechanical system. A smaller mechanical system is a win win – it will require less upfront cost, as well as less energy to run. Here are systems to consider, and ways to keep them as energy efficient as possible.
- Selecting energy efficient furnaces, hot water heaters and condition units
- Sealing duct (and testing for leaks)
- Efficient duct layout and design (oversized ducts and bad layouts reduce efficiency).
- Insulating ducts or locating ducts in conditioned space to reduce heat loss or gain.
- Adding a heat exchanger or heat recovery ventilation – which exchanges heat between incoming fresh air and outbound air. This not only save energy but also improves the indoor air quality.
We promote an integrated approach to sustainable design; employing interdisciplinary team of engineers and designers to explore and evaluate potential green design opportunities from the earliest planning stages.