According to the Alliance To Save Energy (ASE), buildings account for about 40% of all U.S. energy consumption and a similar proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing their energy use will not only ensure long-term cost savings for homeowners and businesses, but also must be a central component of any meaningful climate strategy. Additionally, retrofitting existing buildings and upgrading new construction has the potential to create millions of good-paying jobs.
The Biden administration is focusing on building decarbonization with the goal of tripling efficiency and seeing up to US $200 billion in savings. This includes investing in worker training, a grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEB) “roadmap,” and new building performance standards for the federal government, spearheaded by the Council on Environmental Quality.
Earlier this year the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced its Top Ten Awards for best new green buildings. Now in its 25th year, the annual program distinguishes significant achievements in advancing climate action through building design. Submissions are evaluated on social, economic and ecological criteria. Among the winners is MIT’s MIT.nano, one of the largest commitments to research in MIT’s history. The team set a high bar – to achieve best-in-class performance in three major green building categories:
- Design to maximize safety and occupant well-being while enhancing opportunities for innovation and interaction within the campus community.
- Provide for a high degree of flexibility and resilience, including additional load capacity, to help ensure a long, useful life for the building.
- Advance state-of-the-art practices for energy-efficient, high-performance cleanroom design and achieve unprecedented overall sustainability for a building of this type.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is stepping up to convene thought leaders and the largest community of green building leaders for its USGBC Live Event on June 8-10 to discuss the future of buildings, cities and communities. The event will be presented digitally and be available online globally from anywhere. Each USGBC Live showing will feature regional content and speakers to ensure topics are relevant to your area.
USGBC Live will be offered at a nominal cost, available to those in the USGBC community including USGBC members, employees of active national member organizations (no lapsed members), active individual members (no lapsed members), LEED and GBCI credential holders (all active and expired), LEED and GBCI project participants (projects registered or certified within the past three years), active Faculty and Education @USGBC subscribers, active Learning Lab subscribers, active Web-based Reference Guide subscribers, and active Education Partners. See additional FAQs here
Key themes for the event will include, but not be limited to:
- Safe sustainable disinfecting developments for building reentry
- Building decarbonisation and net zero concepts
- Green affordable housing
- Circular economy for campuses
- Green buildings and health
- Increasing resilience in poor and marginalized communities
- LEED for data centers
- Building life cycle assessment (LCA)
- Smart cities and communities
- Microgrids – making reliable, on-site renewable energy generation possible
- Sustainable teaching and the workforce skills gap in the green buildings business