Important current building energy info from architecture2330.org:
The following email was sent on October 1, 2006 to the President and Board of the US Green Building Council:
URGENT CALL FOR HIGHER STANDARDS
Rick Fedrizzi President, CEO & Founding Chairman U.S. Green Building Council 1015 18th Street, NW, Suite 508 Washington, DC 20036
Rapidly accelerating climate change, which is now fueling dangerous regional and global events, requires immediate and effective action if we are to avert a global catastrophe.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration illustrates that buildings are responsible for almost half of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually; globally the percentage is even greater. Currently the most widely-recognized certifier of green buildings -- LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) -- requires relatively little in building fossil-fuel energy consumption reductions to attain certification. While the USGBC is moving to correct this, it will be too little, too late.
Because the USGBC has taken a leadership role in advancing green building design, it is imperative that LEED-certified buildings be models of energy efficiency. It has been 10 months since the American Institute of Architects (AIA) called on its 78,000 members to implement an immediate 50% reduction in fossil fuel energy consumption for all new and renovated buildings. It has been 4 months since the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted Resolution #50 and The 2030 Challenge calling for an immediate 50% reduction in fossil fuel energy consumption for all buildings in all cities. The EPA (Target Finder) has already defined the 50% energy reduction benchmark for commercial buildings. Clearly, it is time for the USGBC to immediately establish a 50% fossil-fuel building energy consumption minimum for LEED certification.
Therefore, we ask the USGBC to implement the following without delay:
that the fossil-fuel building energy consumption reduction standard required for all new LEED-certified buildings and major renovations be increased to:
Certification: 50%* Silver: 65%* Gold: 80%*
Platinum: Carbon Neutral (no fossil fuel greenhouse gas emitting energy consumption to operate.
- percentage below the average for each building type as established by the AIA and EPA's Target Finder
In addition, we ask that ASHRAE Standard 189-P, now under development by the USGBC and ASHRAE, establish a baseline of half (50%)* the fossil-fuel energy consumption of the average for each building type (as defined by the AIA and EPA's Target Finder). We also ask that ASHRAE 189-P be fast-tracked and issued within 4 to 6 months. It is essential that this standard be completed and adopted as soon as possible. We simply do not have the luxury of time on our side.
- We understand a 30% energy consumption reduction is currently being discussed.
Credible scientists give us at best 10 years to be well on our way toward global greenhouse gas emissions reductions in order to avert catastrophic climate change (see: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14834318/). There are hundreds of coal-fired power plants in the U.S. currently on the drawing boards. Seventy-six percent (76%) of the energy produced by these plants will go to operate buildings. Mayors are forming coalitions to stop the building of these coal plants (see: http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=2380650). Resolution #50 is their hope for eliminating the need for these plants - we must give them the tools necessary to implement this Resolution.
Although we will certainly be affected, the global warming crisis is not really about us, it is about our children and grandchildren, and the planet we leave them. We call on you to lead, you who have both the opportunity and responsibility to make a real difference.