Buildings & Energy
- Green Building 101
- Energy 101
- Energy Conservation & Efficiency
- Building Energy Benchmarking, Rating & Disclosure
- Greening Government Buildings
- Affordable & Multifamily Housing
- Building Construction & Demolition
- Residential Green Buildings
- Building Ordinances
- Outdoor Lighting
- Energy Supply
- Clean Energy
- Financing Buildings & Energy
Buildings have an extensive impact on the environment in terms of energy use, water consumption, electricity consumption, and carbon dioxide emissions. Traditional approaches to new construction, renovation, deconstruction, and operations and maintenance of buildings will do little to improve these statistics. However, education within the industry can influence positive change. For example, we can now dispel the common myth that sustainable design strategies necessitate exorbitant cost premiums. The vast majority of current research shows that a focus on integrated design, setting environmentally sustainable goals, a focus on materials reuse and recycling, and using full-cost accounting to measure return on investment are the crucial issues for successful green building projects - not a bigger budget.
Similarly, local governments have a growing role in the decision-making process related to their energy systems. These municipal systems include both sources of energy supply (utility plants, generators, etc) and sources of energy demand (transportation systems, buildings, etc). Environmentally-friendly municipal energy strategies require balancing the need for i) appropriate selection of energy sources based on a hierarchy of sustainable practices, ii) increased decentralization of the local energy grid, iii) affordable pricing based on full-cost accounting methods, and iv) lessening the vulnerability of communities that are overly-dependent on a single energy source.