Two North Dakota State students are taking a new approach to energy efficient design.
Noor Abdelhamid and Benjamin Dalton are working on a protocol that uses architectural designs and geometries of a building to help identify its energy efficiency using existing technologies. Depending on the development of a protocol, development of their project is in the future. The goal, according to Abdelhamid and Dalton, is to provide a service and tool that will improve energy efficiency and save users money by identifying areas of improvement within a building.
The two care about energy efficiency because of their career choice of architecture. They are aware that “the building sector takes up 47.6 percent of energy consumption in the United States,” Abdelhamid said, and they wish to create a measure that can minimize that and make a positive contribution.
Their goal with this project is to make it faster and simpler to do assessments and determine the impact of a building and how to improve its energy footprint. This would put their work into motion and gives building owners control and accountability for their buildings.
The inspiration for this idea came from their curiosity to analyze a buildings “envelope” and see how that impacted its energy consumption.
The method they are working on would function by analyzing existing buildings by means of digital and thermal photography and modeling. Using retrieved data and analysis of building geometry, a building would be given a score that would rank test-case public buildings based on energy performance in comparison to measured energy use intensity data, according to Abdelhamid and Dalton.
While this method is being developed, Abdelhamid and Dalton know of a few ways buildings can be more energy efficient in the meantime. The building itself can have a few components such as increasing and upgrading existing systems, including continuous, thermal-bridge free layers of insulation, controlling infiltration and leaks through openings and walls.
The people within the buildings can do other things, such as turning off any lights they aren’t using, turning down the thermostat and attending eFargo events to learn more about saving energy that won’t cost consumers a dime.
Something homeowners can do that college-aged students may not be able to do, however, is purchasing a solar panel and considering an electric car or an electric hybrid vehicle.
Because the students participated in this effort with the help of eFargo, they would like to remind the NDSU community that they have helped in lowering the city of Fargo’s energy use and consumption and that the community action has resulted in savings.