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Building Components Overview

A building's components — from the foundations to the roof — are literally the building blocks that make the building. These components can either degrade the energy efficiency of the building or enhance its performance and increase occupant comfort.

Many new energy-saving components are coming to market. These products do double duty, performing their primary jobs while also saving energy. Roof shingles, for example, are coated with heat-reflective coatings that send the sun's heat away from the building, rather than being absorbed into it. Roof shingles can even generate electricity for us in the building. Compact fluorescent lights use less energy and put less heat into the building. and advances in HVAC technology mean more comfortable spaces that use less energy.

The benefits from these components won't be realized without being integrated into the whole-building design. Building components influence each other. To make sure they perform optimally, component performance should be modeled during the design phase. This applies to new construction as well as building renovations. Be sure to see Design, Construct, and Renovate for more about using these components in your whole-building design. Operate and Maintain provides tips to ensure components perform as designed.

You'll find the latest information about building components in this section, as well as product information links and links to the emerging research for each technology.

Building components in this section include the following:

Appliances and Equipment — ENERGY STAR-rated office equipment and appliances
Electricity — solar (PV) cells and other renewables
Building Envelope — windows, doors, insulation, foundations, framing, roofs
Heating and Cooling Systems — passive and active solar, heat pumps, other options, ventilation
Lighting and Daylighting — interior and exterior options
Water Heating — solar hot water, other energy-saving systems

U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585
www.eere.energy.gov www.energy.gov