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New technologies and techniques can ‘future-proof’ buildings

Net-zero principles may give buildings longer lives.

October 21, 2020 |

Courtesy Pixabay

With the number of extreme weather events on the rise, and the possibility that the cost of powering a building with fossil fuels rising as governments aim to combat climate change, net-zero construction could provide future-proofing qualities.

Construction using leading-edge techniques today will result in longer-lasting structures, the reasoning goes. For instance, a home battery system may become more desirable for backup power with more grid outages due to storms and wildfires. Installing them now in new construction would make these buildings more desirable—especially in the long run.

An affordable housing project that tightly seals the building and packs the walls with an extra thick layer of insulation greatly reduces residents’ heating and cooling expenses, improving their financial resiliency. Heat pumps can provide efficient room heating and water heating. These measures create further savings that will make the building more desirable for tenants for many years.

Figuring out the angle of the sun on August afternoons and designing shades that block it then, but also allow sunlight in when it is at a lower angle in the sky in the winter further bolsters energy efficiency.

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