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Renewable Energy for Buildings

A major share of all energy consumption is taken up by heating, cooling and lighting inside buildings. Energy conservation through improved design and construction can be combined with more efficient behaviour of occupants to achieve major reductions. As a building designer, developer or owner you may require reducing the carbon footprint of the building still further and therefore wish to utilise sustainable, renewable energy resources on and around your building.

We can assist you to firstly investigate the options and then design the solutions. We assist clients through the whole process to commissioning and operation of your chosen renewable energy systems.

Distributed energy in urban contexts - a Sustainability Victoria funded programme

Initially we calculate your space and water heating demand and your electrical power demand for the building. For buildings at design stage, this is based on standard usage patterns and client occupancy rates. For existing buildings we use utility bill and fuel usage information as well as modelling. This energy baseline is used to guide the size and scale of required renewable energy generation, and can also identify useful energy savings opportunities.

Typically we identify opportunities to harness solar passive gains from roofing and window design and also usage of roof areas for solar thermal water heating and solar photovoltaic power generation. We analyse weather data, roof aspect and any local shading effects to obtain the annual energy gains generated by these technologies. This is followed by a design and costing exercise to determine the financial feasibility of the solar systems, allowing you to incorporate the most attractive options into the tendering and construction of your development. We can also assist with state and federal solar rebate applications such as the Green Building Fund for commercial buildings.

Other opportunities for space and water heating often arise from the use of heat pumps, either air source or ground source. These gather heat by exchanging with ambient air or the surrounding ground and obtain a coefficient of performance, COP, much higher than direct heating with electricity. Heat pumps also have a lower carbon footprint than even gas heating. Heat pumps are well matched to underfloor heating systems which can use lower temperatures to maintain heat pump efficiency. We assess heat pumps as part of selecting the best opportunity for your site.

For major space heating and hot water requirements, a solid fuel biomass boiler can provide an excellent, renewable solution. We forecast your running costs by investigating wood fuel supply chain and available fuel supply contracts. Capital costs are obtained from a range of biomass boiler manufacturers. We liaise with biomass equipment supply and installation firms to provide an overall solution for your site.

If your building is exposed to strong winds, you may be able to benefit from wind power generation. Roof mounted wind turbines are now viable with the correct technology. If you are interested in urban or rooftop wind energy please click here. If you require wind monitoring to confirm feasibility, please click here.

You may also be able to benefit from a free-standing wind turbine if you own suitable land adjacent to your building(s). We can investigate wind resource and turbine size and height options on your behalf. We can undertake wind monitoring at your site and calculate the energy yield. We can also assess assist with the planning application process including noise impacts on neighbouring dwellings, visual assessment as well as arranging for building permits to be obtained. We can arrange for tendering of supply and installation of the wind turbine system, as well as grid connection. We can even arrange your staff training on the benefits of wind and renewable energy and a visit to existing wind turbine installations.

If you are a building service or engineering firm, architect, construction contractor or building owner, we invite you to begin your consultation now and contact us for a free quotation.

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