As the world struggles to find ways to deal with its energy demands, it’s also becoming increasingly urban. Which is only a problem when you consider there will be more than 7 billion inhabitants on Earth by the end of this year, and somewhere near 9 billion around 2050.
The fact remains that energy use is often the largest source of a building's environmental impact. Buildings account for more than 40% of worldwide energy use—far more than cars and airplanes combined. As cities continue to grow with the influx of new people seeking employment and opportunity, the need for sustainable building design is more relevant than ever, especially in the developing countries where urban migrations are occurring on an even more rapid scale.
To improve a building's energy efficiency, you need to understand its energy loads. Energy loads help describe the flow of energy on the site and in the building. By understanding a building's thermal loads and its intended use, you can more effectively use the energy in natural systems to passively heat, cool and ventilate your building and design efficient HVAC systems.
Going forward, reducing energy use in buildings will be one of the most important challenges to reducing our overall environmental impact. By understanding the flow of energy on the site and in the building will be essential in capturing energy in natural systems to passively heat, cool and ventilate your building and design more efficient HVAC systems.