As builders seek ways to make their projects more impervious to natural and man-made disruptions, on-site propane is emerging as a solution.
The modern construction era poses a difficult conundrum: Despite improvements in technology and building-material science, our homes and buildings have never felt more vulnerable. Weather-related power outages have doubled since 2003. On any given day, an average of 500,000 Americans are affected by power outages. And the costs mount: Power interruptions cost Americans $150 billion a year.
Architects, community leaders, builders, and an array of public and private organizations have responded to this challenge by thinking about design in terms of resilience. According to the Resilient Design Institute, resilience is “the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance. It is the capacity to bounce back after a disturbance or interruption.”
Resilient propane technologies
Propane is emerging as a key tool for resilient designers primarily because it provides reliable, on-site, on-demand energy. Unlike electricity and natural gas, which are vulnerable to grid outages, propane is easily portable and can be stored on-site. With community propane systems, it even has the versatility to reliably fuel an entire resort, development, or mixed-use community.
Propane is a clean, abundant, American source of energy, so it provides a path forward without the impact on climate change or national security issues inherent in other energy sources.
For construction professionals, propane is a versatile fuel that powers a range of resilient technologies.
- Whole-house backup generators: The moment grid power goes down, a propane backup generator kicks in to keep a home or business running. The generator can be used to power vital systems, such as the sump pump, HVAC system, or refrigerator, protecting a project from costly repairs, cleanup, or lost business.
- Fireplaces: Propane-powered fireplaces provide the ambiance and warmth homeowners want, even when the power is out. Advanced pilot ignition systems can light the pilot only when needed when supported by a battery backup system.
- Space heating and water heating: When a home or building’s critical heating systems are fueled by propane, less backup power is needed for electricity. That means builders can downsize to a less costly generator or use it to power other vital building systems.
- Cooking: Propane or gas stoves provide high-performance cooking technology without the need for grid power.
- Renewable energy backup: Propane works in tandem with another key resilience strategy: renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. With propane generator sets designed for these hybrid energy applications, a development won’t be reliant on the whims of the weather for its on-site power.
While all of these systems make a home safer and more adaptable, they’re also simply more desirable for homeowners and business owners. Resilient technologies make your projects more valuable, improving ROI for you and your customers. And with propane storage on-site, your clients can rest assured that their home is protected no matter what tomorrow brings.