Energy Research Institute (ERI), United Kingdom
The use of renewable energy sources is a fundamental factor for a possible energy policy in the future. Taking into account the sustainable character of the majority of renewable energy technologies, they are able to preserve resources and provide security, and diversity of energy supply and services, virtually without environmental impact. Sustainability has acquired great importance due to the negative impact of various developments on the environment. The rapid growth during the last decade has been accompanied by active construction, which in some instances neglected the impact on the environment and human activities. Policies to promote the rational use of electric energy and to preserve natural non-renewable resources are of paramount importance. Low energy design of urban environment and buildings in densely populated areas requires consideration of a wide range of factors, including urban setting, transport planning, energy system design, and architectural and engineering details. The focus of the world’s attention on environmental issues in recent years has stimulated response in many countries, which has led to a closer examination of energy conservation strategies for conventional fossil fuels. One way of reducing building energy consumption is to design buildings, which are more economical in their use of energy for heating, lighting, cooling, ventilation, and hot water supply. Passive measures, particularly natural or hybrid ventilation rather than air-conditioning, can dramatically reduce primary energy consumption. However, exploitation of renewable energy in buildings and agricultural greenhouses can, also, significantly contribute to reducing dependency on fossil fuels. Therefore, promoting innovative renewable applications and reinforcing the renewable energy market will contribute to the preservation of the ecosystem by reducing emissions at local and global levels. This will also contribute to the amelioration of environmental conditions by replacing conventional fuels with renewable energies that produce no air pollution or greenhouse gases. This study describes various designs of low-energy buildings. It also outlines the effect of dense urban building nature on energy consumption and its contribution to climate change. Measures, which would help to save energy in buildings, are also presented.