Energy rehabilitation of buildings

Cmyk-arquitectos

The energy rehabilitation of buildings has experienced great demand in recent years, both in Spain and in many other European countries.

It is not a passing fad, much less a dispensable luxury of modernity. In reality, it is an absolute priority, considering the damage that comes from non-renewable energy.

These works are framed in environmental care and are great promoters of energy efficiency.

On this occasion we will explain how they are carried out, what are the steps to follow and why they are so beneficial on an energy and environmental level.

ENERGY REHABILITATION OF BUILDINGS

The first thing we will address is its essence. Specifically, the energy rehabilitation of buildings addresses a restructuring process that actively promotes energy savings.

The ultimate goal of this type of work is to optimize the energy efficiency of buildings.

These rehabilitations also involve the incorporation of cutting-edge technologies and equipment to reduce electricity consumption.

These improvements reduce energy costs and the pollution footprint on the environment, while increasing the quality of life of their owners or tenants.

Fortunately, the energy rehabilitation of buildings will be a priority for the Spanish government in the coming years.

What is this measure due to? He Council of the European Union (EU) reports that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by at least 55%, between now and 2030, in the EU.

If everything goes correctly, new energy rehabilitation projects could be approved, in the medium and long term, in Spanish territory.

A building that has been energy rehabilitated is capable of reducing carbon dioxide emissions significantly. (Many even have energy self-consumption solutions, which is even more sustainable).

energy rehabilitation of buildings

ARE THESE REHABILITATIONS REALLY NECESSARY IN SPAIN?

To answer this question in a more impartial way, it is necessary to analyze the current situation in the country's residential sector.

Currently, this sector is responsible for 30% of total and final energy consumption in Spain.

As if that were not enough, 60% of the homes date back to the 80s. Do you have any idea what that means?

Without going into so many details, they are homes that surely have poor insulation and a precarious energy use system.

Taking this panorama into account, it would be quite valid to say that the energy rehabilitation of buildings is completely necessary and imperative.

When should a building be rehabilitated at an energy level?

There are key factors that demonstrate the need to energetically rehabilitate a building, such as:

  1. Poor insulation.
  2. Few or no energy efficiency solutions.
  3. Presence of uncontrolled air currents.
  4. Air leaks.
  5. Absence of heat recoverers.
  6. Lack of efficient natural ventilation systems.

These elements are capable of setting off certain alarms on the energy level and should not be underestimated or ignored under any circumstances.

Now, the question you should keep in mind right now is: What are the parts that can be rehabilitated?

Generally, rehabilitation processes are carried out progressively and focus on:

  • Facades, sfloors, covers and partitions

During this phase, specific insulating materials are used to minimize cold and heat losses in buildings.

Likewise, any humidity problems that may exist are resolved, as well as noise pollution triggers.

The ideal is to replace them with double or triple glass, since this material successfully optimizes thermal insulation.

  • Energy installations

These works consist of renewing the lighting and air conditioning systems to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by a significant percentage.

Did you know that air conditioning systems are responsible for 50% of a home's energy costs?

For this reason, it is crucial to replace the older ones with more efficient and sustainable ones, such as those that work with condensing boilers or heat pumps.

In parallel, thermal systems that work with renewable energy or that facilitate self-consumption in buildings must be installed.

energy rehabilitation of buildings

STEPS TO DO AN ENERGY REHABILITATION OF BUILDINGS

These are the steps to follow when carrying out the energy rehabilitation of buildings:

1. Energy audit

The starting point is to carry out a study or audit to know the energy current of the building, as well as its corresponding cost.

During this process, energy consumption is monitored, the building's load curve is analyzed, thermography is performed, and more.

This audit is usually carried out by companies that provide energy or engineering services, and also by many architectural firms.

2. Actions on the elements

The purpose of this step is to identify any weak points that the building may have; especially in terms of thermal insulation.

For example, the performance on the building envelope is evaluated, as well as other high-impact elements. Here are some of them:

3. Isolation

Buildings built in the 1980s, which represent 60% of the Spanish residential sector, usually have poor thermal insulation.

However, once replaced, energy savings can be increased by up to 50%.

4. Ventilation

The most sustainable buildings work with controlled mechanical ventilation systems, since they reduce heat demand by 90%

During this phase it is essential that heat recovery systems are installed and natural ventilation systems that are truly efficient are activated.

5. Tightness

Air leaks and gaps in doors, walls and windows threaten the airtightness of buildings.

However, when uncontrolled air currents are eliminated, air conditioning consumption is reduced between 30 and 50%

6. Greater facility efficiency

The installation of efficient air conditioning, heating and ACS systems can reduce the costs of your electricity bill dramatically. The most recommended are:

  • Condensing boilers

They work at low temperatures and consume 20% less energy than standard boilers.

These types of hybrid systems, combined with a gas boiler, are 35% more efficient than the rest of the obsolete systems on the market.

Underfloor heating that works at temperatures ranging between 30 and 35 degrees are more energy efficient.

Low temperature radiators, that is, those that work at 45 degrees on average, save up to 12% energy.

  • Smart thermostats and lighting and efficient appliances

Installing smart thermostatic valves on radiators can reduce energy consumption by 13%

At the same time, it is necessary to install LED bulbs in buildings, since they consume 85% less electricity than conventional ones. It is also appropriate to install skylights or natural light tubes.

Additionally, appliances with the highest electrical consumption must be replaced with those that actively promote A++ energy efficiency.

  • Use of renewable energy sources

Solar thermal energy, geothermal energy, photovoltaic energy and biomass are renewable energy sources that enhance energy efficiency in rehabilitated buildings.

  • Rehabilitation aid

Currently, both communities and individuals can access building rehabilitation aid through direct contact with the government of their autonomous community or through their rehabilitation agent.

The Building Energy Rehabilitation Program (PREE) is responsible for managing this aid, with the aim of promoting the sustainability of existing buildings in the country.

In addition, each Autonomous Community is opening calls for aid for the rehabilitation of European funds “Next Generation”, which is even more flattering.

BENEFITS OF THE ENERGY REHABILITATION OF BUILDINGS

The energy rehabilitation of buildings is full of benefits, such as those listed below:

  1. Reduction in energy demand (without sacrificing the comfort or convenience of tenants).
  2. Possibility of generating thermal energy, since renewable sources can be incorporated into the rehabilitation project.
  3. Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. (The environmental footprint is less polluting).
  4. Increase in acoustic and thermal comfort of buildings.
  5. Elimination of humidity.
  6. Detection and resolution of air leaks. (This improves the watertightness of the buildings).
  7. Revaluation of buildings in the real estate market. Without a doubt, when they are energetically rehabilitated, they acquire a higher valuation in the market.

HOW TO MANAGE AN ENERGY REHABILITATION OF BUILDINGS?

We have just explained to you the mechanisms and programs that currently exist to manage the energy rehabilitation of buildings in Spanish territory.

If you would like to learn more about this process, or even estimate how much an energy audit of a building would cost, we invite you to contact to CMYK Architects.

Its team of professionals will offer you an immediate and highly qualified response. Furthermore, he is prepared to dispel all your doubts in an ethical, responsible and professional manner.

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