One of the most crucial impetus in social development across the globe, as well as economic growth and wealth generation is energy. Energy happens to be the pre-eminent key factor for the development of any nation. The bottom line is that the most energy-consuming area is the residential sector, and in fact, buildings are ascertained to be both, one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases as well as consumers of energy. As per statistics, the building sector reports for 42% of electricity usage which is more than any other sector, worldwide. It is not surprising that we spend more than 90% of our time in buildings.
As the pace of urbanization across the world is increasing rapidly, in both developing as well as developed countries, the count and size of the building are also increasing consequently, therefore concluding in a raised demand for electricity and other forms of energy that is generally used in buildings.
Either it is a workplace in the midst of the city or a residential house in the countryside, the buildings we reside in have a broad range of needs. Thus, the influence of buildings on the surroundings and environment is becoming a concern for society. As per the International Energy Agency (IEA), the total energy consumption in buildings, across the globe, caught up to nearly 3,060 million tons of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in the year 2018, rising up from 2,820 Mtoe back in 2010. The percentage of fossil fuels in buildings’ energy consumption was hitting at 36% in 2018, according to the IEA, a tiny fall in comparison to 38% in the year 2010.
As the building sector scrutinized, it showed diverse conclusions, as the building sector includes a variety of end uses and influences. A huge number of multinational organizations and international trade plays a considerable role in the production and distribution of most of the building gadgets and tools, including lighting, cooling systems, cooking appliances, and heating. The one constant aspect of a building sector is that it is accountable to a huge extent of regulations, and thus the building conventions often impact equipment standards and material use, both voluntary and mandatory, have a compelling influence on energy efficiency.
In addition to that, appropriate regulatory regimes may further be projected to administer a track to enhance efficiency for both building construction and a range of building equipment. Among other things, government authorities can also play their part in the maintenance and conservation of energy, as most of the government operations are executed in commercial buildings and are mainly building-dependent which generally comprise a substantial proportion of complete building use. Thus, the government authorities can choose energy-efficient material and designs for use, and thereby make a significant impact on the building sector as a whole.
Furthermore, the government authorities are also taking positive steps towards sustainability by promoting the novel idea of energy-efficient building globally. Basically, energy-efficient buildings are the refurbished existing buildings or newly constructed buildings that are designed in a way to conserve and reduce the use of energy as much as possible for the purpose of lighting, cooling, or heating. Noticeably, it only makes sense to look for energy-efficient sources and equipment when the building is outlined in a way to reduce energy loss.
No wonder then, that as the population around the globe are becoming more and more cognizant about sustainability and the influence humans’ activities have on the environment. In the midst of all of this, an idea that is emerging and turning influential is the Passive House – or Passivhaus – concept. In the early 1990s, the world's first Passive House was built in the city of Darmstadt, Germany. The concept of a passive house is based on five major principles: airtight construction, superior windows, quality insulation, ventilation with heat recovery, and thermal bridge free design. A building has to adhere to a wide range of strict and detailed standards and criterias, in order to be certified as a Passive House. In the present-day world, the novel concept of Passive House is graciously influencing designers and architects around the world.
At long last, there are numerous benefits of taking positive steps towards sustainability and promoting the idea of energy-efficient buildings worldwide. One of the major benefits from measures to enhance energy efficiency buildings is decreased energy costs but there are generally other advantages to be considered as well. Energy efficiency measures are determined to cut off the amount of energy consumed yet maintaining or upgrading the quality of services offered in the building. To that end, it is essential to adopt the energy-efficient concept for saving the environment's exfoliation.