Energy efficiency standards in new buildings

Energy efficiency standards in new buildings

Currently, energy conservation and improving the energy efficiency of buildings are becoming increasingly important worldwide, including in the USA. This is due to rising energy resource tariffs, as well as the need to reduce the negative impact on the environment. The application of modern technologies in the construction of new buildings significantly increases their energy efficiency.

Main Energy Efficiency Standards in the USA

In today's world, where issues of energy conservation and sustainable development are particularly acute, the importance of energy efficiency standards cannot be overstated. In the United States of America, these standards are especially relevant and strictly regulated. In this section, we will explore two main standards that set the tone in the field of energy efficiency in the USA: ASHRAE 90.1 and RESNET HERS. These standards cover both commercial and residential properties, establishing criteria and methods for increasing the energy efficiency of buildings. They play a key role in reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, ensuring more ecological and economical use of resources.

ASHRAE Standard 90.1

One of the key documents regulating the requirements for the energy efficiency of buildings in the USA is the ASHRAE 90.1 standard "Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings." It sets minimum characteristics for the building envelope, engineering systems, and equipment.


Another important standard for residential buildings is the RESNET HERS. It regulates the calculation of the HERS index - a relative indicator of a home's energy efficiency. The lower the index, the higher the energy efficiency.

Advantages of Energy-Efficient Buildings

Building energy efficiency is not just a trend or a fashionable direction in construction, but a real necessity of modern society, aimed at improving the quality of life and preserving natural resources. In this section, we will thoroughly examine the numerous benefits that energy-efficient buildings offer. These advantages range from savings on utility bills to improved ecology, increased living comfort, and increased real estate market value. All these factors collectively have a significant impact on the choice of construction materials and technologies among developers and consumers, determining the direction of the construction industry's development for years to come.

Savings on Utility Bills

Applying energy-efficient technologies in the construction of new buildings significantly reduces expenses on heating, air conditioning, and hot water supply. Owners of such buildings can save 30-50% compared to standard buildings.

Increased Comfort of Premises

Good thermal insulation properties of the building envelope and efficient ventilation systems contribute to creating an optimal indoor climate in energy-efficient buildings.

Improvement of Ecology

Energy-efficient homes and buildings require less fuel for heating, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves ecology.

Increase in Real Estate Value

Thanks to savings in operation, energy-efficient buildings are more attractive to buyers, increasing their market value.

Ways to Increase Energy Efficiency in Construction

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is not only an environmentally responsible step but also an economically beneficial solution for any construction project. In this section, we will explore various ways and methods that can be used in construction to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. From thermal insulation and energy-efficient windows to heat recovery systems and automated control systems, each of these methods contributes to the overall efficiency of the building. Special attention is also given to the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines. These approaches, used either individually or in combination, contribute to the creation of economically advantageous, ecologically clean, and user-friendly buildings.

Thermal Insulation

Using quality thermal insulation materials in construction is one of the key methods of increasing the energy efficiency of buildings. Walls, roofs, and basement floors are insulated.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Using windows with triple glazing and heat-reflecting coatings significantly reduces heat loss in a building.

Heat Recovery

Installing heat recovery systems from exhaust ventilation air saves up to 30% of the building's thermal energy.

Automated Control Systems

Using modern automated systems for controlling heating, ventilation, and air conditioning optimizes energy consumption in the building.

Renewable Energy Sources

Using renewable energy sources - solar panels, wind turbines, heat pumps - also increases the energy efficiency of buildings.

Future Prospects for Standards

According to forecasts from the US Department of Energy, in the coming years, there will be a consistent increase in the requirements for the energy efficiency of buildings. For instance, it is planned that by 2030 all new commercial buildings and 50% of new residential homes will meet the "net zero energy building" standard - that is, fully meet their own energy needs through renewable sources (Department of Energy, 2021).

To achieve this goal, the implementation of a whole range of new technologies will be required. Primarily, this involves the widespread use of solar panels and wind turbines to generate electricity. Additionally, the active use of heat pumps for heating and hot water supply, as well as systems for accumulating excess generated energy, is expected (Department of Energy, 2022).

Also anticipated is the introduction of "smart" automatic building energy management systems that adapt to external conditions and the presence of people in the premises. This will allow for the optimization of energy resource use and reduce the overall burden on the power supply system (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2021).

Therefore, over the next 10-15 years, building energy efficiency standards in the USA will be significantly tightened, necessitating the widespread adoption of innovative technologies.


Improving the energy efficiency of buildings is a crucial task in the US construction industry. Applying advanced technologies in the construction of new houses and buildings significantly reduces energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and operational costs. Further development of energy efficiency standards will contribute to achieving these goals.