Renewable Energy Sources – What works best for your project?

It’s not news that an increasing number of building owners and clients are requiring renewable energy sources. What is the best way for you or your team to identify sustainable strategies for your project?

The good news is that the choices are ever expanding. As a design consultant in 2018 I am fortunate to have multiple choices to recommend to my clients. The more widely used options are 1) active and passive solar, 2) wind power and 3) geothermal ground source heat pump. Each has advantages and drawbacks and requires site specific evaluation.

Each site and/or building is unique and best solutions are not always evident on first review. Location, solar orientation, climate, zoning and design regulations all play into the evaluation. Photovoltaics require good solar exposure, but many find the appearance objectionable. Solar arrays are best located in a sunny spot with not much visibility from the occupants or public. Wind power is quiet but requires a substantial foot print and clearance for height. Geothermal supplies heating and cooling but not electricity. Occupants like its noiseless operation.

What works best? The best strategy is to pick a knowledgeable design team that listens to your goals as a client and takes the time to evaluate the options.