“So what can we do to keep homes improving from an energy efficiency standpoint?”

For a long time, answers such as “improve insulation” or “designed better HVAC” systems would have likely been what first came to mind. However, with new building guidelines, standards, and especially with the emergence of organizations such as LEED, Energy Star, and the National Green Building Standard coming to the main stage, a lot of what can be done from a design standpoint has been covered. 

The title of this entry is more of a question, rather than statement, although it could be interpreted either way. What I would like to ask all of you is “What do you think the next big leap in building efficiency will be”?

My own personal guess would be window efficiency and the introduction of this handy little material that some of you probably already know about. Its called “Aerogel”, and it has the potential to revolutionize window efficiency. Currently, glass is one of the most energy inefficient materials used in building construction. Even double, or triple pane glass tend to lose their effectiveness after approximately 10 years. At the expense of some partial degree of clarity, Aerogel, as a window insulator could drastically improve the efficiency of windows without (but with, would be better) the use of storm windows or plastic window wrap (you know, the annoying material you need to put up in the winter).

While not directly aimed at window insulation, take a quick look at the article below and tell me what you think. Cheers.

http://greenbuildingelements.com/2008/04/11/aerogel-insulation-adva...

 

Learn more about Hickory Energy at www.hickoryenergy.com

Views: 27

Tags: aerogel, efficiency, energy, window

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Comment by Leo Klisch on January 29, 2011 at 11:27am
The idea of geothermal seasonal heat storage has been played with in Europe and the US for sometime now. I found a 60 unit single family housing development in Alberta Canada that installed a system that they feel will provide 90% of space heating as solar heat. They started "charging" the system in 2007 and so far performance is as good or better than expected. They are very near the 80 C core temperature. This will all be done with thermal solar panels and without heat pumps.
Comment by Leo Klisch on January 29, 2011 at 11:15am
Comment by David Eggleton on January 13, 2011 at 7:42am
  1. Changing window types (some fixed/inoperable) and sizes - larger on the southern side(s), smaller on the northern side(s) - when updating windows.
  2. Solar task heating.
  3. Changing the building orientation for more solar gain and adding thermal mass for more heat storage/management.

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Profile IconVictor Couto, Melvin Calahan, Mike Burton and 1 more joined Home Energy Pros
26 minutes ago
Steven Lewis replied to Christopher Talarico's discussion Heating with Tankless Water Heater & Hydronic Air Handler vs. Gas Furnace
"It looks better on paper than in real life applications.  Both Amana and Lennox came out with…"
17 hours ago
Dennis Heidner replied to Christopher Talarico's discussion Heating with Tankless Water Heater & Hydronic Air Handler vs. Gas Furnace
"Rinnai has application note on how to use their tankless hot water heater with a Rinnai water to…"
yesterday
Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion How much heat energy is lost through the floor of a house?
"I found the buildingscience article interesting.  Interesting that they noted the wet bottom…"
yesterday
Bud Poll replied to Hal Skinner's discussion How much heat energy is lost through the floor of a house?
"With conduction that ends at the bottom of the joists and convection that is naturally suppressed…"
yesterday
Hal Skinner replied to Hal Skinner's discussion How much heat energy is lost through the floor of a house?
"Good morning Bud, Took a quick look at the site and a couple others listed on the Yahoo…"
yesterday
Bud Poll replied to Hal Skinner's discussion How much heat energy is lost through the floor of a house?
"Hi Hal, Search "Basecalc basement heat loss".  From memory Canada (nrcan) has/had a…"
yesterday
Michael Dunseith posted photos
Saturday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service