10.0 Renovation/Construction

Residential and Commercial buildings consume 40% of energy contributing to climate change.   And of that, over 90% is consumed in the operations of the building:  lighting, heating, cooling, equipment etc…  So unless one tackles operational efficiency seriously, it won’t matter how much “green materials” are installed in the building – it will be an energy disaster.

To help ensure more sustainable building practices many standards have been developed including Energy Star, LEED, Zero Energy Building and Passive House.

Energy Star –  developed by the U.S. Dept of Energy (DOE), addresses a wide range of issues including products, home improvement, new home construction and commercial building design.   Generally Energy Star seeks a 30% improvement in efficiencies.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) –  developed by the industry group U.S. Green Building Council,  LEED seeks a holistic approach that addresses a wide range of environmental issues including: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy & atmosphere, material and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Zero Energy Building – Largely funded by DOE toward commercial and residential applications, it is a building standard that seeks to have the building achieve net zero energy use through efficiency measures in construction with the addition of on-site renewables such as photovoltaics as necessary to achieve zero balance.

Passive House – developed in 1990s and formalized by the Passivhaus Institut in Darmstadt Germany and now at the Passive House Institute U.S., it is the most rigorous energy standard today achieving up to 90% heating and cooling energy reductions and up to 70% overall energy use for residential and commercial applications.

It should be clearly noted that these four programs are not exclusive but complementary.

10.1 Renovation

1.  Items coming soon…

10.2  New Construction

1.  Items coming soon…

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