We begin the New Year with good news! Housing, construction, consumer spending, jobs, trade, and business investments are all trending upward, all while energy consumption in the Building Sector is trending downward.
According to the recent U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2014 early release, the reference case (business-as-usual) energy consumption projections to the year 2030 have declined each year since 2005, even taking into consideration the fact that we will add about 60 billion square feet to our building stock from 2005 to 2030.
The EIA estimates that the entire U.S. building stock in 2030 is expected to be more efficient – consuming less energy per square foot of building floor area – than in 2013. In the reference case, the delivered energy (energy intensity) for residential buildings is projected to drop by 13.4 thousand Btu per sq. ft. of floor area, and for commercial buildings by 17.5 thousand Btu per sq. ft. of floor area.
The AEO 2014 early release statistics also project that:
This is money that will be spent locally (on rent, a mortgage, food, clothing, travel, education, entertainment, etc.) and generate taxes for schools, public transportation, infrastructure and services.
This is all good news as the Building Sector continues to gather independent momentum and lead the nation on energy and emissions reductions – all without any meaningful congressional legislation to point the way.
Architecture 2030 will report on the full EIA AEO 2014 release in the Spring of 2014.
In a riveting Master Series presentation to a packed house at Greenbuild 2013 in Philadelphia, Ed Mazria delivered the blueprint for creating a world that is sustainable, resilient, accesses renewable resources, meets the 2030 Challenge targets, and can adapt to the vagaries of climate change. He connected the dots between science, energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, architecture, planning, and construction.
Greenbuild 2013 also marked the world release of the 2030 Palette, Architecture 2030’s latest catalyst for transforming the built environment. The 2030 Palette is a powerful new online tool that puts the principles and actions behind livable, low-carbon and resilient built environments at the fingertips of architects, planners, and designers worldwide.
In his presentation, Mazria called on the audience to leverage the power of social media to get the word out about the 2030 Palette. By the end of the day, #2030Palette was trending nationally on Twitter, with a reach of 550,000 worldwide. You can check out the Storify of the 2030 Palette Launch.
Fireworks photo credit: SJ Liew