Powering spaces with sunlight
In a world that’s getting darker due to climate change and calamities brought about by dwindling natural resources, people are seeking for the light at the end of the global warming tunnel. Some of them are turning to installing solar systems; even the Philippines, have caught on and started joining this important movement. Who would have thought that people can just to look up at the sun for answers? Yes, the future is indeed green and bright.
With the ongoing developments in technology, we are now learning how to harness the gifts of Mother Nature to make daily life easy. Such gifts include safe, clean, and renewable energy sources like water, wind, and the sun. Ever since the discovery of the photovoltaic effect by Edmond Becquerel in 1839, man began to utilize the Sun’s heat to power machines and light up infrastructures. Over time, we’ve discovered the true power of the sun – that is a much better alternative energy source compared to fossil fuels because it’s cleaner and requires minimal maintenance.
This big ball of energy will continue to be a necessity in our lives until the end of time. And there’s no better time to introduce and develop more sustainable energy sources, environmentally-friendly materials, and energy efficient electrical equipment, than now. Below are five design and construction trends for a greener and brighter 2019.
TREND # 1: CLEAN AND RENEWABLE
Most countries in the world still rely on traditional power sources like coal, oil, and natural gases. These resources are finite and will dwindle over the next few years, not to mention the impracticality of it all since acquiring these resources demand so much from the environment. Renewable resources, meanwhile, can be procured easily, and energy production is safer and cleaner. Australia also launched a plan for its public housing pool, which involved the installation of solar panels and batteries in 50,000 homes within four years. The trend is now to harness power from renewable energy sources.
TREND #2: COST EFFICIENCY
Solaric has brought solar power to mainstream. With solar now taking the lead and making the trend, the power of turning on the sun is in the limelight like never before. Clean energy and solar power advocates emphasize that the reduction in power bills or electric bills actually make the investment wise and sound. With the rates of solar systems at an all-time low, homeowners are now making that household switch to solar, along with establishments such as schools, factories, malls, farms, and more. What makes the solar switch even better is the fact that homeowners can benefit from the net metering program, wherein they are credited for their excess power. With solar power as the cheapest source of renewable energy, then it only makes sense to harness this sunshine and turn on the sun – especially with today’s low-cost solar panels and affordable solar power for homes. The investment is a win-win, for homeowners and entrepreneurs alike.
TREND #3: PASSIVE SOLAR HOMES
A warmer future calls for energy efficient houses. Passive solar homes collect heat as the sun shines through roofs and windows and retains it in materials that store heat, known as thermal mass. The share of the home’s heating load that the passive solar design can meet is called the passive solar fraction, and depends on the area of glazing and the amount of thermal mass. The ideal ratio of thermal mass to glazing varies by climate. Well-designed passive solar homes also provide daylight all year and comfort during the colder seasons through the use of nighttime ventilation.
Ultra-efficient homes also combine state-of-the-art energy-efficient construction, appliances, and lighting with commercially available renewable energy systems, such as solar roofs, electricity, and water heating. By taking advantage of the climate and site conditions, architects and designers can incorporate passive solar heating and cooling and energy-efficient strategies to design and construction. The intent is to reduce home and business energy use as cost-effectively as possible.
For instance, a solar roof like Solaric’s PV roof is designed to reflect sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. These rooftops reduce energy bills, improve indoor comfort, and may extend the service life of the roof. These roofs usually have special reflective pigments or are white to reflect sunlight. A light-colored roof absorbs less than 50 percent of the solar energy, which reduces a roof’s temperature. In contrast, dark roofs absorb 90 percent of the solar energy. On the other hand, green roofs are perfect for urban buildings with flat or shallow-pit roofs. Green roofs include anything from basic plant cover to a working garden.
The Future Will Continue Shining
The technology and understanding of clean and green energy will continue to develop as renewable technology becomes more viable and attractive for homes and buildings. The routes to energy, particularly through renewable means, will diversify and will receive a far greater level of attention from the thinking consumer, and applies to all design and construction trends.