Ashden.org is one of my all time favorite sites. You can spend days researching their extensive website for award winning designs. This is top quality information, folks.
“Low energy buildings use passive techniques, such as optimal solar gain, and advanced active systems, such as mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, to create comfortable internal environments that have low energy demand and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Some low energy buildings use renewable energy generation to further reduce or eliminate their greenhouse gas emissions in use.
– Buildings account for about 45% of UK CO2 emissions.
– Good design can cut CO2 and energy bills by nearly two thirds.
– Incorporating renewable energy as well can give buildings that produce no net CO2 in use.
Buildings are responsible for a significant proportion of the global energy use and CO2 emissions. For example, in the UK buildings account for around 45% of total CO2 emissions with domestic buildings alone accounting for around 27%.
Energy is used in buildings to deliver comfortable conditions for occupants and to power appliances: this is known as ‘energy-in-use’. Energy is also used in building materials and during construction: this is known as embodied energy’. Currently the energy-in-use over the lifetime of most UK buildings greatly exceeds their embodied energy. For a typical existing three-bedroom detached house in the UK, it is estimated that energy-in-use overtakes embodied energy within two to five years (note 3). Thus over a 60-year building life the energy-in-use will account for between 92 and 97% of the lifetime energy requirements, and is therefore the first target of low energy design.