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Energy Efficient Building Design
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A building’s location and surroundings play a key role in regulating its temperature and illumination. For example, trees, landscaping, and hills can provide shade and block wind. In cooler climates, designing buildings with an east-west orientation to increase the number of south-facing windows minimizes energy use, by maximizing passive solar heating. Tight building design, including energy-efficient windows, well-sealed doors, and additional thermal insulation of walls, basement slabs, and foundations can reduce heat loss by 25 to 50 percent.

Dark roofs may become up to 70°F hotter than the most reflective white surfaces, and they transmit some of this additional heat inside the building. US Studies have shown that lightly colored roofs use 40 percent less energy for cooling than buildings with darker roofs. White roof systems save more energy in sunnier climates. Advanced electronic heating and cooling systems can moderate energy consumption and improve the comfort of people in the building.

Proper placement of windows and skylights and use of architectural features that reflect light into a building, can reduce the need for artificial lighting. Compact fluorescent lights use two-thirds less energy and last 6 to 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. Newer florescent lights produce a natural light, and in most applications they are cost effective, despite their higher initial cost. Increased use of natural and task lighting have been shown to increase productivity in schools and offices.