In a recent article on Ars Technica, they discuss long term goals for climate change and the importance of efficiency. We often think about the efficiency of our cars. We evaluate the MPG our cars achieve and alternate fuel sources they might use. National media and cultural trends have made us excited about efficient cars. And this isn't all about saving money but is also about being part of something bigger, being part of real change. But do we think about the efficiency of our homes, apartments, offices, and schools in the same way?
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, "About 29% of U.S. energy consumption in 2017 was for transporting people and goods from one place to another." But for buildings they state, "In 2017, about 39% (or about 38 quadrillion British thermal units) of total U.S. energy consumption was consumed by the residential and commercial sectors."
While improving the energy efficiency of our cars is important, we shouldn't neglect the importance of looking at the efficiency of our buildings as well. We all take small steps to improve our buildings' efficiency (Anybody bought a LED light bulb lately?) And small steps help for sure. But what about the big steps? Why not think of efficiency at the very beginning? Major renovations and new buildings are being started every day. I believe there is a standard that should be applied to these renovations and new buildings.
With the Passive House standard, buildings will use 90% less energy for heating and cooling than existing buildings and 75% less energy than new buildings. These numbers are a huge difference! This efficiency can be hit very easily with a little forethought and planning. We need to care about the efficiency of our buildings as much as we care about the efficiency of our vehicles. This efficiency is the key to real and long lasting change!
Click to learn more about the Passive House standard from our friends at Emu Systems!