Advancements in building science have dramatically changed the way that homes are designed, constructed and operated. Building science can be defined as the body of knowledge that to analyze physical events that affect buildings and their functionality. This includes all areas of a building such as the materials, envelope, ventilation, lighting, air quality, renewable energy and HVAC systems. These systems are studied to improve a building’s performance and energy efficiency. Studies are used then to generate new technologies and methods that improve the overall livability and performance of the building. In the last ten years, there have been many advancements that enhance a building’s performance with innovative new building techniques.
Incandescent and fluorescent lighting were solutions that reduced the cost of interior illumination for many years. Compact fluorescent bulbs further increased energy efficiency but also had harmful chemicals used in their construction. LED technology has produced lighting that is energy efficient, low-cost, customizable and long-lasting.
Zero Energy Buildings
The further development of energy efficient options such as solar panels, geothermal energy and conservation methods are allowing for the developing of buildings that produce energy while at the same time conserving energy. This produces newer buildings that are able to generate the electricity that is needed and that harvest gray water to systems that do not require potable water such as lawn maintenance.
Another development in building science that is creating great strides to improve efficiency is commissioning. This process is similar to the commissioning of a ship where all systems are tested to ensure they are functioning as they were meant to. Today, many lenders are now requiring this step. Every facet of a home, from the doorbell to the envelope, is tested to ensure that the home is operating at optimal levels. This is also being used with older homes to bring their operations up to better levels of efficiency.
Insulation and Water-Proofing
Methods that have been developed in the last 10 to 20 years have been used to increase the insulation and sealing of a building, such as the use of vapor barriers both inside and outside of the structure. What has resulted is a significant decrease in water vapor permeability. While this is great to keep water out, once it's there it can be difficult to dry.
Older homes used timber frame construction that could breathe, easily dry out from weather events and repel mold. Steel framing and some wrapping and insulation do not have these drying abilities.
The team at Owens Construction are the experts at home building and remodel. We work with each client to define the proposed project and will provide professional advice and guidance from concept to completion. Our team is ready to work on your project, no matter how big or how small. Give us a call today at 614-846-1149 and get your home on the road to energy efficiency and beauty!