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After the second-world war economic prosperity took place all over theworld and with the development of industry the needs of energyincreased dramatically Meanwhile more and more new constructions werebuilt in the recent fifty years and lifestyle has changedsignificantly Energy shortages are becoming more frequent than in thepast which is a fundamental problem of peoples life Furthermore theinfluence of CO2 emissions is increasing fairly and it is one of themain causes of global warming The energy consumption of architecture isa fundamental part of using resources According to Pitts 1994959buildings are important consumers of energy and thus significantcontributors to emissions of greenhouse gases into the globalatmosphere Over the last twenty years scientists engineers andarchitects have attempted to find the best solution to reduce the energyconsumption in buildings The arguments as to whether saving traditionalenergy or finding alternative energy has been debated for long timeThis essay will discuss and examine the potential of zero or low carbonenergy use in architecture which is widely accepted as a sustainablemethod The evaluation of renewable energy focuses on three kinds ofcommon energies solar energy wind energy and geothermal energy Withthe development of low and zero carbon technology the benefits ofrenewable energy are becoming more apparent Moreover there are severalreal projects as examples to explain the advantages and potential ofrenewable energies There is no doubt that the first fundamental advantage of using low orzero carbon energy is producing lower greenhouse gases Global warmingand ozone hole are two of the primary environmental problems and adirect cause is greenhouse gases emissions Besides of the transport andindustry pollution account for approximately half of the total energyconsumption is in houses and over a quarter of CO2 emissions is producedby buildings in modern society Therefore developing and adopting ofappropriate renewable energy technologies to support buildings energyneeds might be an effective strategy The official figure in the 2009edition of SAP shows that 40 per cent decrease of CO2 emissions basedupon grid carbon intensity between 2005 and 2010 from DTI
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