Energy saving techniques and green architecture methods stand to cut costs, reduce consumption dramatically in the coming decade
By Paul Benton
Earlier this month, the research and advocacy group known as Architecture 2030 released a report indicating that the implementation of green building and energy saving techniques stands to save the U.S. building sector trillions of dollars in energy costs while conserving significant resources nationwide. The report, which was created using data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in association with the U.S. Department of Energy, indicates that Americans will save $3.7 trillion on energy costs between now and the year 2030 thanks to drastically decreased usage and emissions projections — a result, at least in part, of greener building practices. Edward Mazria, founder and CEO of Architecture 2030, explains in a piece for Inside Climate News that successful green architects are committing to a higher standard when it comes to building design, efficient technology and sustainable practice. And by working with the Green Building Council to balance top quality production with the latest in energy-saving technology, architects can continue to play a vital role in conservation and cost savings far into our nation’s future.
Green building is most effective where the energy usage is the greatest, and that means at any scale. For some time, large businesses and institutions like universities have been quite aware of their energy bills, to the point where they are a recognized and planned factor in the annual budget. Many such institutions are implementing vigorous programs to reduce energy consumption, especially in classrooms and workspaces; and they are thrilled when day lighting and effective site planning can reduce both lighting and air conditioning bills. Such advantages can teach architects key lessons – and make it easier to readily transfer similar methods to smaller-scale projects like homes and businesses.
When it comes to performing home renovations or even starting a new construction project from scratch, there are so many ways to reduce energy consumption and increase savings – many of which are relatively simple and, in some cases, even affordable to implement. The LEED program by the Green Building Council even provides a template for prioritizing energy-saving steps, from the easy ones like added insulation, energy-saving appliances, local and sustainable materials and waste reduction to the more complex solutions like solar panels, energy storage systems and special ventilation. When energy savings are approached in a thoughtful and organized manner, it is actually possible to demonstrate significant savings in any project — and to reap the rewards of certification and efficient operation guidance available through LEED and other programs.
Consumers and architects alike need only make smart, conscious choices to have a major impact on the overall efficiency of any given project. But ultimately, as Mazria notes, it is the architect’s commitment to a higher level of care and attention throughout the design and building processes that has the greatest effect on sustainability. Green-minded architects go the extra mile throughout every project management stage to maintain greater air quality control, separate necessary chemicals to minimize exposure and contamination risk, and eventually create a beautiful, safe and sturdy space that is built to last.
Sustainable architecture in San Diego: the way of the future
At Alcorn & Benton architects, we believe in going above and beyond in everything we do, from historical renovations to coastal building projects to green architectural implementation and design. Our San Diego architecture firm is distinguished in its commitment to energy saving techniques and practices, and we are proud to be a part of the next wave in American architectural innovation, technology and progress. Learn more about sustainable and energy-saving remodeling or contracting options or peruse our portfolio of completed projects online: www.alcornbenton.com.
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