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Let's Talk Building Science!

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Sustainable Building Construction

Sustainable building practices promote the construction of buildings that are healthier for the occupants and healthier for the environment. They improve Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) while reducing the negative impacts that building construction, operation, maintenance, and disposal have on both people and nature.

The Biggest Misconceptions

  • How much energy buildings actually use
  • That Embodied Energy of buildings is paramount. In fact it's only a small portion compared to most buildings' Operating Energy over their life cycle.

Actual Energy Use of Buildings

According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Center for Sustainable Development, buildings consume 40-50% of the world's total energy, 25% of its wood harvest and 16% of its water. The building industry is the continent's largest manufacturing activity.

Embodied Energy versus Operating Energy¹
Life-Cycle Energy Use of Residential Buildings

A report by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) promotes Green Building for the Biggest, Easiest Cuts in CO2 Emissions.

Energy-saving technologies applied in buildings can result in enormous reductions in demand for fossil fuels and emissions of greenhouse gases, with long-term net income (not cost) for the upgrade!

Calculate Life-Cycle Impacts

Show R-12 on a Home   or enter

  hr⋅ft²⋅°F/BTU
 

¹ Life cycle energy analysis of buildings: An overview, T. Ramesha, Ravi Prakasha, K.K. Shuklab, Energy and Buildings 42 (2010) 1592–1600