Buildings account for a large amount of land use, energy and water consumption, and atmospheric pollution. For example, in the United States, they use 40% of the total national energy consumption (56% by residential dwellings), produce 38% of the total carbon dioxide emissions, and account for 12.2% of the total quantity of water consumed (2006). In this context, buildings with considerably reduced energy consumption are a key strategy to achieving energy savings and climate protection targets in both the residential and commercial/institutional sectors . This article reviews a number of heating and cooling systems—existing and/or under development—available for residential buildings and briefly outlines some research projects and initiatives, as well as technical achievements in Canada and other developed countries over the last few years.
Vasile Minea, Ph.D. Scientist researcher for Hydro-Québec Research Institute, Laboratoire des technologies de l'énergie (LTE), Shawinigan, Canada. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org