Design Competition: Scenario no. 2

Energy-efficient buildings

The scenario

  • Buildings are one of the main users of energy. Reducing the energy consumption of buildings will be crucial in saving resources and protecting the climate.

The challenge 

Design a building that consumes as little energy as possible.

Questions to consider

  • Which design features will help reduce overall energy consumption? Some examples you should consider:
    • Insulation, in areas such as wall cavities, roofing etc.
    • Heating and cooling: what are energy-efficient alternatives to traditional central heating and air-conditioning?
    • Doors and windows
  • How to make optimum use of solar energy for heating and cooling, and think about geothermal forms?
  • Which materials are used to make buildings more energy-efficient and how can new materials ease energy efficient design?
  • How can you calculate the energy-savings of specific materials such as plastics in particular parts of the building?
  • Net energy consumption will be reduced if the building generates its own energy. What energy systems could you include that would allow the building to do this?

Supporting resources

This is an exe file to download on your computer. It is a Macromedia Flash application which may enable your students to watch a demonstration on reducing energy consumption, CO2 emissions and heating costs.

Reducing energy consumption in buildings: How plastics help (English)
This text is the transcript of a chat that helped students understand what is the role of plastics in reducing energy consumption in buildings. 

Building for a Sustainable Future: Energy Consumption in Construction (Available in 21 languages)
This article provides some support information that focuses on how to reduce energy consumption in housings.

Building for a Sustainable Future: How to reduce Energy Consumption in Housings? (English)
This is a chat transcript with detailed information on energy consumption in housing.

At Home – making people’s lives easier. And Nature’s, too. (English)
Innovative plastics applications are a crucial element in the ongoing trend for product miniaturisation.

Materials World (English)
The EU aims to meet 20% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020.