Energy Use Intensity (EUI) is defined as the yearly energy use of a building in relation to its gross square footage. It is a measure of how much energy is used by an office building, relative to its size. The higher the number, the more energy is used.
There are two main types of EUIs: actual and functional. An actual EUI quantifies the amount of energy used by a building, regardless of whether it is being used at this moment. It includes the energy used by equipment such as air conditioners and heaters that are turned on even when no one is using them. A functional EUI only counts the energy used by devices that are actually in use. For example, if a room is set at 68 degrees Fahrenheit and neither the heater nor air conditioner is used, that's data that could be missed with an actual EUI. However, if the room is then used for meetings and all the lights and heating elements are activated, that would be included in the functional EUI.
The United States has traditionally used functional EUIs, which do not include energy consumed by inactive systems such as heating/cooling units and electrical appliances. In 2001, the government began requiring commercial buildings to use both functional and actual EUIs.
Eco-friendly construction entails using materials and procedures that are resource-efficient and ecologically responsible throughout a building's life cycle. This includes the design and production of new products, as well as their disposal once they have served their purpose.
Eco-friendly buildings use material selection and recycling practices to reduce their impact on the environment. They may do this by using more environmentally friendly alternatives such as concrete instead of stone, or FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood instead of GWP (Global Warmth Partnership) rated timber. In addition, hazardous substances such as lead in old plumbing can be recycled or reused.
Eco-friendly buildings also utilize energy efficient designs, including solar power and wind turbines, which help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and prevent the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Finally, green building techniques promote sustainable development by reducing our need for new sources of energy and expanding our ability to reuse and recycle waste materials.
In conclusion, eco-friendly architecture is a growing field that aims to provide solutions for the environmental problems we face today. It uses resources efficiently and produces minimal waste during its life cycle. This means that eco-friendly buildings use energy very efficiently, require few materials, and can be dismantled easily after use.
Alternatively, so-called "vernacular" architecture—structures constructed in direct reaction to the local climate, materials, geology, and traditions—is frequently energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Many modern buildings follow this pattern. Although vernacular architecture is not necessarily more sustainable than architecture using expensive imported materials, it does provide evidence that some traditional building techniques are highly efficient. For example, a survey of rural South Africa found that almost all homes used less than 1 percent of the world's oil and consumed less electricity than expected for their size categories.
In conclusion, traditional architecture is sustainable because it is inspired by nature and uses resources locally. Modern buildings based on traditional designs often use recycled materials or products from renewable sources and are energy-efficient due to better design practices. However, many modern buildings lack any connection to their environment which can cause problems such as heat island effect and energy loss through windows. Also, many traditional buildings are made of expensive materials that come from far away which can contribute to issues related to mining and deforestation.
The main advantage of traditional architecture is its high sustainability score. The main disadvantages are its cost (many traditional houses were not designed to be permanent) and lack of innovation (most traditional houses copy previous designs).