Topic: Energy Use
THE EDITOR, Sir:
PLEASE ALLOW me to respond to a letter, published on Saturday, October 22, 2005, entitled 'Wasteful designs'. First, the author, Paul Ward, has raised many valid points and is to be commended, along with any other like-minded individuals. The use of natural ventilation and lighting would reduce energy consumed in buildings. Air-conditioning and electric lights use approximately 77 per cent of electricity consumed in large buildings: 56 per cent for cooling and 21 per cent for lighting.
Buildings can still be designed for natural ventilation and lighting. In fact, there are several small offices in Jamaica that are naturally ventilated, including some belonging to architects: one, I am told, uses air-conditioning only when cooling is otherwise impossible. As the lecturer of building services at the Caribbean School of Architecture, University of Technology, I can also inform you that our future architects are first taught to design using natural resources before they are taught about electric lighting and air-conditioning. So, 'the technology of the past' is still very relevant and achievable.
But, natural ventilation is generally impractical in large compact buildings and use of natural light is limited to rooms with windows. Also, large buildings designed to use natural ventilation and lighting are of necessity long: which presents problems regarding earthquake resistance. So, they tend to be more expensive. Those interested in these types of buildings should therefore expect higher construction costs in order to reduce operation costs due to their use of electricity.
I am, etc.,
Paul Hay Consultants
15a Cassia Park Road