Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Green Building = Energy Efficient Building

In the United States buildings account for:
  • 72% of electricity consumption
  • 39% of energy use
  • 40 –70% of GHG emissions in urban areas
  • 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually)
  • 14% of potable water consumption

If all new buildings, starting right now, would be zero net energy buildings, this would account for only 1% of energy savings by 2020. 

According to the California Long Term Energy Efficiency Plan, all new commercial construction in California will be zero net energy by 2030.

Energy consumption reductions in existing buildings ranging from 25% to 40% are achievable with attractive economic payback periods of 3-5 years.

Buildings are investments and so, they are opportunities
  • 72% of existing buildings were built before 1990
  • There is over 70 billion sq. ft. of existing commercial space in the U.S.
  • Over 90% of the buildings that will exist in the year 2020 are already built today
  • The majority of existing buildings will still be here in 2050
  • Existing buildings outnumber new buildings by a ratio of over 100 to 1

Green building can reduce:
Energy efficiency is frequently described as the “low-hanging fruit” for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing fossil fuel consumption. Energy efficiency improvements can meet a substantial portion of new U.S. energy demand and are relatively easy, cheap, and within the scope of current technology.

Benefits of Building Retrofits:
  • Reduce energy consumption
  • Lower ongoing building operating expenses
  • Attractive economic return on investment
  • Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions
  • Labor intensive and thus create jobs
  • Incentives, Rebates, and Funding

Energy Efficiency  = Low Risk & High Returns

Other benefits of high-performance buildings:
  • Attractiveness to new tenants
  • Reduced turnover and vacancy
  • Improved ability to attract and retain employees
  • Ability to meet shareholder and customer expectations regarding environmental programs
  • Ability to meet emerging environmental requirements

Energy efficiency measures provide a win-win situation by promoting cost-savings, lowering environmental impacts while promoting economic growth and social development. Energy efficient buildings represent one of the primary opportunities to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions, as well as to create new jobs.

The International Energy Agency estimates that, on average, an additional $1 spent on more efficient electrical equipment, appliances and buildings avoids more than $2 in investment in power supply.

Green buildings generate an average increase of 7.5% in building value, a 6.6% improvement in return on investment, and lower vacancy rates than other existing buildings.

1 comment:

  1. If recycling and hemp bags are a small step in the right direction, ensuring our buildings are as energy efficient as possible is a huge leap.

    Energy efficiency