Tag Archives: Energy efficiency

Introducing the Passive House system: A new standard for building green


The architectural community is at a tipping point. Specifiers and their design teams are moving closer to super-energy-efficient performance across a spectrum of building types and portfolios, including the ‘deep energy retrofits’ of recent years. This is good news—U.S. commercial buildings account for 72 percent of domestic electricity use and 36 percent of natural gas consumption, according to a 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and they contribute an eye-popping nine percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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Innovative glazing technologies are changing the future of buildings

The Mathilda Project

It is no secret architects have an affinity for glass. The sheer number of full-glass buildings emerging all over the United States speaks to the material’s panoptic appeal and its ability to create openness and connectivity to the outdoors. Most of our time—approximately 90 percent—is spent inside, meaning an exposure to natural light and a visual connection with the outdoors is more important than ever.

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New research into P3s and building performance

Business People Corporate Discussion Meeting Team Concept

The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) are collaborating to explore ways public-private partnerships (P3s) can be used to achieve high-performance buildings. The two groups are bringing together international experts on the utilization of P3 to address current government challenges and advance the achievement of high-performance building stock.

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The Ins and Outs of Revolving Doors

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The built environment is an energy-guzzler. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) states in this country alone, buildings account for 41 percent of energy use, 73 percent of electricity consumption and 38 percent of all CO2 emissions, and 13.6 percent potable water consumption. Globally, buildings use 40 percent of raw materials, or about 3 billion tons annually.1 Fortunately, the type of doors we select can have a big impact on a building’s energy profile.

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Prescription for Energy Savings: Reducing cost and consumption with upgraded cooling tower fans

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The average hospital uses three times the energy of typical commercial buildings, and U.S. medical facilities spend $8.8 billion annually on energy. Between lighting, medical equipment, HVAC, and plumbing, energy consumption in medical facilities outpaces any other type of building. For large hospital systems, annual costs can reach into the tens of millions of dollars—no small amount in an industry of thin margins.

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