Passive Design

An ideal passive design is about achieving a building that does not require the services of mechanical appliances like heating or cooling systems and associated fossil fuel consumption, relying instead on renewables for energy. By following passive design principles, it can take a building a long way in reducing energy consumption and reducing the ecological footprint of the building. A building site’s wind, terrain, vegetation, solar, and other environmental factors lead to the most effective passive designs.

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Green Roofs

Several new technologies have emerged to help make the part of the building most exposed to sunlight and the elements as green as possible. Cool rooftops, coated in specialized reflective paint or constructed with reflective tiles or shingles, can keep rooftop surfaces up to 50 degrees cooler in the sun. These coverings protect the roof from UV, chemical, and water damage and reduce energy bills by putting less strain on air-conditioning systems and HVAC equipment. It also improves indoor comfort for spaces that are not air-conditioned, such as garages or covered patios.

Garden rooftops are another alternative, covered with live vegetation for better thermal performance of the roof and helping to improve the surrounding air quality. Garden roofs facilitate the use of rainwater for rooftop vegetation, enhancing the insulation properties of the roof and keeping the building cooler.

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Rainwater Collection

Irrigation and plumbing store rainwater which is free of salts and acids and the purity and softness of collected water help prevent scale on piping and appliances. Harvesting rainwater for reuse is inexpensive and not only brings down water costs but eases the stress on public water sources. Water tanks are used to collect rain and groundwater, sustainably maintaining the integrity of building infrastructure and, in some states, even providing tax benefits for campuses equipped with water collection systems.

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