Zero Energy Building
BARTHÉLÉMY KOLB — UNIVERSITÉ de SHERBROOKE
The electricity consumption of the domestic sector counts for 30% of Argentina’s total consumption. To this problem, we can also add an important water and gas demand. The domestic sector represents the most important energetic waste, in addition to the unexisting federal or provincial law encouraging low ecological footprint. The Fundación Biosfera, in its process of raising awareness in the Argentinian society about the importance of diminishing CO2 emissions, is founding projects to encourage lowering energy consumption of housing buildings. We are working with specialists in Buenos Aires to design buildings based on Zero-energy concept, that consumes energy, but also produces some. We want to show, using buildings in La Plata as concrete examples, that being more respectful of the environment is possible through the building and the use of such works.
In a residential building, the lighting counts for an important part of the total energy consumption. Even if a responsible use of light depends on individual consumption, there is also energy waste in the lighting system in the communal areas of the building (basement, first floor and landing). The use of low energy consumption lights or LED paired with a detection system to turn the light on only when necessary might partly solve the problem. These solutions might be costly to implement at first, but they would result in important money and energy saving, as well as reducing the ecological print of the building.
There are multiple ways of designing buildings producing its own energy. Solar panels, that use silicon cells and the sunlight to produce electricity, are a good example of clean, safe and inexhaustible energy sources. This technology is suitable for provinces such a Buenos Aires, where the sun shines during the most part of the year. The solar panel can be connected to batteries to store the energy produced and use it at night. Other technologies like wind turbines, using wind power, can be used altogether to produce more renewable energy and allow a higher independence to the public network.