Swisatec: Energy Saving Design

Double Glazed Windows:

Double glazing in South Africa is a clever way to reduce heating and cooling costs as well as energy with less effort. The windows will relieve the pressure off heating and cooling systems such as air conditioners,fans and heaters ,making it an eco-friendly window treatment. The amount of energy and costs these windows save make it worth the investment.

Double-glazed windows use two sheets of glass with a slight gap in between them, which creates an insulating barrier.The space between the glass panes can be filled with either a vacuum (quite rare nowadays because they require excellent sealing, otherwise the vacuum diminishes so the efficiency decreases), or a heavy inert gas such as Argon, Krypton or Xenon.

Benefits of installing double glazing: 

  • Warmth in winter: great method of insulation and reduces up to 50-70% heat loss. Additionally, it captures and stores natural heat from the winter sun to keep your house warm inside.
  • Cooler summers: insulation blocks some of the heat from the harsh summer sun and prevents it from entering your house.
  • Reduces energy usage: significant drop in energy consumption from heating and cooling systems. Environmentally friendly.
  • Reduces condensation: if your house is considerably old, then condensation is an issue. Condensation creates perfect environment for mould growth and mildew plus the timber from the windows begins to rot. This can prove to be a hazard for the family’s well-being. Double glazing prevents excess moisture from building up on your window panes.
  • Reduces noise: it acts as a sound proofing system and provides a more peaceful living environment and cuts down noise pollution by at least 60%. The peace of mind factor is worth all the money alone.
  • Enhances resale value: for a very small investment, the value of your house will be significantly increased, even if your house is old. Old or new, both kinds of homes can enjoy the benefits of energy saving from double glazing windows.
  •  Reduces interior fading: a special type of glass can reduce the damage on drapes, carpet and furniture from UV light.

 Energy supply and demand in South Africa is a point of concern. The point to take from this article is that green living principles are the future of energy saving initiatives. If you want all the benefits that double glazing windows in South Africa can supply, then it is also highly recommended to properly insulate the house too.

Thermal insulation works well in reducing heat loss and gain and in turn reducing energy consumption and costs. According to research, without insulation your home/building loses 40% through the roof alone. Please note that heat is lost through walls and windows too.

 

Sources:  http://www.thegreenage.co.uk/, http://www.homeinsulations.co.za/ Google Images

 

Water Crisis! Swisatec design water saving apartments

“It is important to bear in mind that the time to save water is when there is water to save, and we should therefore not become complacent about our water saving efforts. Cape Town will never be in the position of having sufficient water to waste, and we must continue to be vigilant. “

Dam levels in the Western Cape have dropped from a high 90% in the years 2012 -2014 to a staggering 65% in 2016. We are currently facing major water restrictions and the dams in 2017 are at an all-time low. With the high influx of people and with suburbs growing at a rapid pace, the dams are having to cater for more households than what they usually service. This increase in demand for water and the shortage of rainfall is a clear indication that water needs to be consumed sparingly.

Swisatec are incorporating water saving instruments in their upcoming project such as shower to sprinkler systems. Research shows that the average shower uses +- 120 litres of water! The water that is usually wasted when you shower will be collected and stored in a large tank. The water will be passed through a clarifying filter into another tank, from where water will be used to water the greenery and surrounding landscape of the property.

Re-using the water alleviates the need for water provided by the city of Cape Town, reduces pollution, nurtures the vegetation and saves on costs. A beneficial situation for both the residents and the environment.  

Another innovative method that will be used in the upcoming Blue Rock Village project is the use of a central hot water system. The central source is heated through three different ways:

1.    Solar Energy

2.    Heat exchange through the air

3.    Heat exchange through Blue Rock Lake 

The piping from the central source to the apartments are fully insulated, retaining the heat inside so that it will not get lost when the water is flowing to the tap. This method insures instant hot water when turning the tap on. Most households switch on their hot water and let the water to run until it heats up to a comfortable temperature, wasting litres of water each day. Eliminating the wait helps to save the amount of water used.

 

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Green Design and Regenerative Architecture

Sustainability is the current 'it' word in the architecture world, however, do we all practice what we preach? The dialogue surrounding climate change, global warming and the need for conservation is foremost on our minds although what it all means versus what can be done about it seems to be a somewhat more elusive issue.

South Africa is starting to move wit the worldwide trend of eco-architecture. The days when the architectural demands were to create a structure that is bigger, better and more impressive are in the past. The future is the use of green technology and regenerative qualities that uses fewer resources and has a minimal impact on surroundings.

The role of the architect has been shifted to not only provide sustainable value to the client but to also encourage environmental sustainability that can best be applied to the project/s.

"Swisatec Architects specialise in European design and quality, green building and sustainability. Our focus is the client and to provide a service that would ego our standards." says head architect Dirk Cillier (Pr Arch).

The company is the proud designer of Africa's first multi-billion 6-star Green Village and is well known for their innovative environmentally friendly approach and pioneering design. "We commit to designing structures that will stand out and will save energy and generate value." proclaims Swisatec's Director Mr. Reichmuth.

For more information please contact the Swisatec office at 021 300 1653 or email info@swisatec.co.za

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