We have now entered into an era of energy efficiency and financial returns, where energy saving buildings are designed, constructed, operated and maintained with minimal cost.
Energy efficiency must always be addressed before considering renewable energy. In order to achieve a cost optimal energy saving building design it is essential that annual energy consumption is minimised before incorporating low or zero carbon technologies.
Route to Net-Zero comprises three steps:
STEP 1 - EnvelopeFirst & Optimised Building Services
The first step optimises the insulation, airtightness, heat loss/gain and daylight design of the building envelope for its intended life, while also ensuring the building’s services are geared to energy efficient operation.
STEP 2 - Insulate & Generate - Integrated LZC Technologies
At this stage, additional enhancements to the building envelope and/or internal duct/pipework are introduced and low or zero carbon technology systems are added to further reduce its overall energy footprint.
STEP 3 - Net-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs)
The purpose of this stage is to ensure that the overall annual performance of the building balances out. This usually involves enhancing the renewable energy technologies already incorporated in the building, and may require investment in off-site energy saving schemes called ‘allowable solutions’ in the UK.
Kingspan Group's Net-Zero Initiative
In 2011, Kingspan Group embarked on a Net-Zero initiative. The target is to have all Kingspan facilities running out of renewable power by 2020, with an interim target of achieving 50% by 2016.
The achievement is being prioritised at Holywell and Sherburn, UK, which are the largest sites. There are already small-scale renewable energy systems in place, including solar thermal hot water, wind and a large scale photovoltaic array, commissioned in 2011, that is currently delivering over 300,000 kWh per annum.
A new energy performance contract is also in place at Holywell; partly funded by the UK Green Investment Bank and costing over £700,000, and is currently saving 1,130,000 kWh of electricity use per annum. Kingspan Insulated Panels has recently achieved ISO 50001:2011 Energy Management Certification for its Holywell site, in recognition of the continual improvement of energy performance
For further information on Route to Net-Zero Energy Buildings please read The Value Proposition brochure.
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