Green Buildings - Electrical Notebook

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Green Buildings

Green Buildings

Shades Of Green

This GREEN . . . or . . . this GREEN . . . or . . . this GREEN


Today we have light green and dark green. There are several different organisations promoting energy efficiency with target goals to achieve.  For example in Australia, there is the basic Building Code of Australia requirements, augmented by Greenstar and NABERs achievement options.  The UK has the basic Building Regulation 'Part L' requirements, augmented by LENI (Lighting Energy Numerical Indicator). Beyond these there are independent goals of achieving Zero Carbon buildings which reduce carbon usage to zero, essentially an environmentally friendly building operating on renewable resources to gain where losses cannot be mitigated.  Such schemes use solar photovoltaic electricity generation, wind power and hydro schemes. Naturally, the electrical aspect is only a fraction of the requirement as a zero carbon building would also need to take into account heating and cooling of the space, reducing energy loss and consideration of how waste products from the building are disposed of.

Light green . . . . The minimum in energy efficiency.  That dictated by the building codes set up by state law.  This may influence the amount of power required to power luminaires, the type of water heating system and possibly the nature of the building.

Mid greens . . . . Include schemes such as the (Australia) NABERs energy monitoring scheme that is imposed on commercial buildings.  This is often promoted in order to gain a reduction on local council tax and also serves to monitor the usage of electricity in a general sense.

Dark green . . . . The most in depth of energy conservation schemes such as Greenstar, extending not just to the design of energy consumption but to monitoring of, annual commissioning of the systems and ensuring that the carbon footprint of the building including operational energy and the energy used to manufacture components achieve a certain minimum.

A completely self-sustainable building achieving a carbon footprint of Zero evidently ranks in the world of Architecture, Engineering and ESD enthusiasts.


Light is the penultimate state of energy prior to heat and as such requires moderating within the world's plight for the saving of energy.  Not necessarily a bad thing.

Certainly the efficiency requirements in terms of lumens per watt have been raised to eliminate inefficient light sources.  

Although setting the origins of artificial light, tungsten filament lamps are now a thing of the past. LED and energy efficient fluorescent lamps providing solutions leading to 'sustainable' and 'carbon neutral' buildings.  Several years on through the development of LED light, quality has improved, including:

  • BIN'ing and classifying LED elements to assure colour uniformity
  • Modularisation of LED lamps for maintainability
  • Replication of traditional lamps for replacement

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