It may not be making national headlines yet but the Green movement that’s hitting Non-Residential construction continues to gain steam as 2016 rolls into a booming 2nd quarter. In this post, we’re going to dig into some of the interesting new products and trends that are helping the movement to gain more traction. We’ll also take a peek at the horizon to see what trends are on deck as the next potential high impact movement for Non-Residential construction.
New Technologies and Trends to Watch in 2016
It’s no secret that HVAC systems use more energy than anything else in a commercial building, but their output of carbon dioxide and other particulates is also a concern for the environmentally conscious builder. While chiller boiler systems have yet to show an impact on large scale commercial projects, their application in smaller commercial projects and multi-family construction is starting to show promise.
The real beauty of a chiller boiler system is that they rely on physics to heat and cool a building. Where traditional heating and cooling systems work by pulling air at different temperatures off of a coil and across a fan, chiller boilers use water – which is more effective at transferring heat to and from a space than air is. When used in conjunction with other energy saving techniques like Passive Solar, the overall green effect of chiller boilers can be fully realized!
If you’re historically inclined you’ll know that even though Edison’s brainchild, General Electric, squashed Nikola Tesla after a battle stretching over several years – Tesla’s science around alternating current prevailed in the end. With that said, the benefits of direct current are being looked at once more. While AC is the preferred transmission method over long distances, DC is ideal for the locally generated power that comes from that wind turbine and solar centers that are popping up across the country.
In addition to saving an incredible amount of energy that normally gets lost when converting one type of current to another, a focus on DC allows us to be less reliant on an aging (and more costly) electrical grid and ultimately, more efficient. The next wave of DC will likely focus on portable power generation and storage for on-demand needs. For non-residential builders that are looking to offer cost effective energy alternatives for power hungry tenants, DC offers a lot of promise!
In a follow up to this post, I’m going to highlight one last green construction trend that raising some eyebrows:
- The Green Roof and The Living Wall
On a side note, as we approach the end of April, time is running out to win my raffle where the grand prize is a $400 Yeti® cooler! If you, or anyone you know, might be interested in a chance to win – you can sign up here!
– Tyson Conrad