The global building sector has never faced more challenges – from curbing energy use to creating high-performance buildings, while lowering our carbon dioxide emissions and ensuring energy security in the years to come. So how can designing buildings or retrofitting existing ones help meet our climate targets?
Do you know how much electricity your home uses each year? And what about the carbon footprint of your office building? Although many people have a rough idea of how much they spend on fuel bills, they donʼt often know how much energy they use to power their home (namely for heating, hot water and lighting) – in short, their homeʼs carbon footprint. Which is surprising, because itʼs the first question to ask yourself if you want to lower the price of your energy bills.
These days, most of us are aware that we need to cut down on our energy consumption with more energy-efficient homes. In fact, A-rated appliances and sound energy conservation strategies can help save money and energy at home. Depending on your budget, plenty of options exist to cut costs – from minor tweaks to major renovations. By applying a range of techniques in the home – some involving just minor adjustments – you can achieve significant savings in energy costs and carbon.
So just imagine all the houses and commercial and public buildings around the world put together. What does this mean in concrete terms? Surprising (or frightening) as it may sound, buildings consume one-third of energy use worldwide and are an equally important source of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) report Transition to Sustainable Buildings. Whatʼs more, if no action is taken to improve energy efficiency in the building sector, energy demand is expected to rise by 50 % by 2050, says the IEA report. Unless we are deliberate in the way we design, construct and renovate buildings, we could “lock in” our cities to inefficient energy use for decades to come.
Action is needed now, not just because of energy trends but also because buildings are a low-replacement industry. It will not be enough merely to act on new buildings. Improving the performance of our existing building stock is incredibly important.
QSI America can contribute to the growth and development of its clients by offering training, auditing and certification services in order to fulfill their expectations.