Costa Rica has announced that there will be an integration of Solar Energy into the country. And where there have been projects scattered throughout the past 80 years or so in Costa Rica, the first major targeted approach to carbon free energy generation has begun. For those interested in construction and architectural business and development within Costa Rica, this is a major development. Architects and Contractors who cater to the more energy efficient housing are more apt to see quicker permits for building, higher sales prices, and retain an ongoing relationship with the Costa Rican building development sector.
How Solar Energy developments will affect conceptualizations
As the building district shifts to a greener way of building and design, Architects should cater their conceptualizations to meet that target audience. This means that building materials should be of recycled material or low impact materials. Cost should be minimized as much as possible through the use of BIM technology software such as REVIT 2016’s material cost estimator. This will allow for higher allocation to the development of the energy efficient systems to be integrated within the design.
Due to the drive to make 100% carbon-free energy by 2021, architectural and construction projects should refrain from 3D concepts of buildings which use systems that emit carbon. Using HVAC systems which have carbon emissions, plants which use “traditional” means of energy consumption, and projects which would require a high level of construction and environmental damage should be minimized in your designs.
Where should you implement Solar Energy into your project?
Solar Energy can come in a variety of products and solutions. However, for residential and even commercial properties, the solar panel is the most common way of acquiring energy from the sun. When designing your 3D model, use solar panels on the roof of the building which is being constructed. Ensure that the solar energy panels are placed realistically by:
- Performing a basic sun analysis of the property
- Placing the panels on the side of the roof which gets the longest duration of light
- Don’t over populate the roof with panels, place only what is needed
- Contrast the roof tile, slate, shingles, etc. in a color that will accent the solar panels
- Angle the panels off of the roof slightly to really make them stand out
For the best results use Google Maps or a similar program to find the angle of the sun on the property. As solar energy is really taking off in Costa Rica, you could also find the wattage which is provided by various brands of solar panels and present this information in your construction estimation or in your architectural render information.
To sell the concept, consider having a video showing how the power will be converted, stored, and delivered to the customer through the use of solar energy. Additionally, you could create AR of the property with a time lapse and various weather conditions showing that the solar energy is still possible due to the energy stored from the panels. Be creative, but be factual.
Show the savings
Apart from the minimization of the thumbprint upon the earth, using solar energy is a secure financial investment for the person buying the property/ blueprint. To maximize the chances of securing a buyer for the property, building, or investment in the project, take the time to run a cost analysis which compares the cost of traditional grid electricity to that of the solar energy efficiency costs. Even if the initial investment is more than the typical electricity bill, show the potential investor the savings over the long term. Remember a person is more apt to place their capital in investments that have a high ROIs.
Become an energy efficient company
Due to the transition to a more energy efficient country, those which have interests in Costa Rican architectural and construction projects may want to consider striving to be recognized as an energy efficient company. Where the process does require the company to have a high level of energy efficient, low economic damage, green technology standards, the overall benefits are high. Those which can achieve such status are open to receive governmental contracts, special permits, and energy efficiency financing on certain projects.
Architecture is Evolving
The bottom line is that architecture, not only in Costa Rica but globally, is evolving. The technologies which were used in days past is no longer considered efficient and economical. Companies, residences, and industry are looking to companies which can provide 3D conceptualizations, AR, and Blueprints for their architectural and construction needs which minimize overall costs, are modern in design, and meet the ever changing and growing regulations concerning energy efficiency and awareness. And where solar panels and solar energy are becoming the industry norms where green technology in such developments are concerned, designers should not neglect to explore the options of wind and water energy solutions.
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