A recent online poll conducted by AsiaGreenBuildings revealed that readers are likely to see a growing trend in pursuing a Zero Energy Building (57,1%) in Asian cities, followed by building facades, (20,6%), and IoT systems (17,5%), among others (4,8%).
Asia Green Buildings will elaborate each of these next top green construction trends in Asia below :
Concept : Zero Energy Buildings
As we take a look at AsiaGreenBuildings’ previous poll, energy efficiency remains the most important aspect of green buildings. Net Zero building, a building with zero energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.
Source : Technology Roadmap – Energy Efficient Building Envelopes Report by International Energy Agency
The figure above shows the need to shift from a conventional building to a zero energy building in mitigating climate change and benefit its occupants. Aiming for low energy building will eventually not be enough and the shift towards zero-energy building is therefore imperative. The progression also refers to the existing buildings for which retrofitting may be the solution required to be applied.
However, there are admittedly a number of challenges for architects, developers and engineers in complying with the Net Zero Energy Building label. Lack of comprehensive understanding about the concept and limited awareness of energy consumption in the building, are among of them. The complete set of measures are to be taken, including close energy efficiency monitoring, renewable energy generation plants, as well as building control management system and technologies – and these altogether are not the typical, equally achievable subjects for all to implement.
As one of the leading examples, Japan has set ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption in buildings through this concept since 2014. An energy policy coming from the Japanese Cabinet by then targeted that newly constructed public buildings are to be zero energy by 2020, whilst new residential constructions will need to be zero energy by 2030.
Building façade : Low Emittance Glass, Vertical Garden, Cool Roofs
Façade, as part of a building’s envelope, is one of the important environmental moderators and happens to be the key influencer for environmental impact by the building. A building façade plays a big role in heat loss, effecting comfort, productivity, energy use and running costs.
Low emittance glass is one of the options to start off with. It takes an important role in the overall performance of windows and can significantly affect the overall interior building such as heating, lighting, and cooling costs. The emissivity of the glass is the ability of a material to radiate energy. Smart glass can help energy performance improvement for the building while adding more comfort and satisfaction to the occupants.
In China, the low e-glass industry is growing rapidly and the demands are expected to increase at a CAGR of 23,5% during the period 2014 – 2017.
Vertical Garden, on the other hand, is not a new concept for the façade trends, but in recent times it has certainly become more popular. Referring to a wall partially or completely covered with vegetation, these green walls help to mitigate air pollution levels by lowering extreme summer temperatures through photosynthesis and trapping particulate matters. It also helps reduce the urban heat island effect.
As for an example, a 46 storey building, a Clearpoint Tower in Sri Lanka, set to be the worlds tallest vertical garden. The façade will be entirely covered in foliage so there wont be any glass surface exposed to direct sunlight, and it will minimized the solar heat gain and acting as a natural cooling system.
Cool roofs, a roofing system which possesses the ability to reflect the visible rays, infrared and wavelengths of the sun and reduce heat transfer to the building and higher thermal emittance, can be opted as a way to control energy consumption in tropical climates. Cool roofs maintain the temperature of air-conditioned buildings in comfort level, reduce the energy use by air conditioning, and help mitigate summer urban heat islands by improving indoor air quality.
As for example, in China, a pilot passive low-energy residential buildings called Zaishuiyifang project is a 198 storey building which implements energy-efficient walls and cool roof insulation, coupled with triple-glazed low-emittance glass, low conductive frames, and within 75% heat recovery from exhaust ventilation air that helps reduce heating penalty.
IoT, Energy management System in residential
Energy consumption in residential segment generally accounts for 20 – 40% of total energy use in a country. This massive is one of the key drivers behind the development of an automated system for energy use in housing, which is closely related to the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT).
The concept holds a premise of multi-devices integration enabled by internet connection accessible from cell phones, wearable devices and almost anything else. The system creates an intelligent space that optimizes efficiency, comfort, safety and more by collecting and analyzing sensor data integrated with the monitoring tools.
Energy-consuming appliances such as air conditioning, TV, or even the typical LEDs can now be automatically activated or deactivated when not in use according to the data provided by the motion or heat-based sensors.
According to Siemens’ Facts and Forecast reports, by 2020, approximately 26 billion objects will be linked together by the internet. Asia is poised to lead more than 50 million connections, with China, as the world’s largest internet user base, to become one of the world’s leaders in IoT area.
Despite the lack of IoT technical standards, the IoT industry in Asia will continue its strong growth. Driven by rapid urbanization, technology and device proliferation, as well as the manufacturing growth, IoT is going to be a major driver in bringing smart, energy efficient building into the next top green construction trend in Asia.