A major consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, studied the costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the findings were:
The intended audience of the study - policy makers - have listened and are starting to enact many changes related to efficiency, such as Building Performance Disclosures and new building codes in BC, Canada, and the USA with much more stringent insulation & air infiltration requirements.
We know that the operating costs of a typical building over its lifetime easily exceed its construction cost - often by a multiple. The conclusion is that building owners & operators should minimize the Total Cost of Ownership instead of only the cost of construction. One of the tools to help is a Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA).
Some other facts from the US Department of Energy:
If we're not making a mistake with these statistics, it appears that almost a quarter of ALL energy used in the U.S. is for space heating, cooling and ventilation. Well insulated & airtight building envelopes can reduce the heating and cooling component by up to 70% compared to 'business a usual' probably making it the single biggest and most cost-effective cut in a building's Total Cost of Ownership.
At last policy makers, building owners, operators, and professionals are getting the knowledge and tools to make the right building envelope decisions!
"More than half of all Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in Vancouver come from building operations, so the City has set a target that all new construction will be GHG neutral by 2030." Mayor Gregor Robertson, City of Vancouver