Through the creation of a
renewable electricity standard
and an energy efficiency
resource standard for utility
providers, the American
Renewable Energy and
Efficiency Act seeks to
improve the utilization of renewable energy and maintain
a standard energy efficiency
level for U.S. power providers.
The bill requires electric
utilities to deliver increasing
amounts of their power via renewable energy sources, topping off at 25% in 2025, and
would also require a 10% and
15% reduction in energy use
for natural gas and electric
providers, respectively. The
bill outlines an aggressive plan
to deliver not only cleaner
energy but a comprehensive
structure to reward and incen-tivize utilities that implement
renewable energy sources.
With a new focus on pragmatic functionality, ASHRAE
Standard 189.1 and the International Green Construction
Code (IgCC) will be combining into one regulatory tool.
This will simplify and unify
the implementation of green
building regulations and
codes, including increased
access to voluntary programs
such as LEED.
Previously, green building
programs, incentives, and certifications have been scattered
and hard to align between
jurisdictions; this new partnership between the International
Code Council, ASHRAE, AIA,
the Illuminating Engineering
Society, and USGBC seeks to
strengthen the green building
industry by providing a more
for creating, certifying, and
maintaining green buildings.
ARCHITECTS COMMIT TO ELIMINATING
The International Union of Architects has unanimously adopted
The 2050 Imperative, committing to environmental sustainability
in built environments with the goal of reaching carbon neutrality
With urban areas accounting for over 70% of global energy
consumption and CO2 emissions, the imperative seeks to advocate and promote the planning and design of carbon neutral
cities, urban developments, and new buildings.
In situations where new construction is not feasible, participants will provide information and tools to help older buildings
reduce and ultimately eliminate carbon emissions by making
sustainable low- or zero-carbon options available.
NATURAL LIGHT LINKED TO WORKER HEALTH
Everyone knows that natural light is beneficial for occupant
productivity while they’re at work, but a new study suggests the
benefits extend even further.
According to a study by Northwestern University and the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, occupants of a
workspace containing windows that provide natural light not
only are more productive at work, but they also get more sleep
during off hours, are more physically active, and report a higher
quality of life than those who worked in spaces with no access
to natural light.
Mentioning the documented dangers of sleep deprivation, as
well as the productivity and health advantages of having access
to natural light, the study’s authors urge office designers and
facility managers to keep window placement at the forefront of
their minds when designing or re-designing office spaces.
In most cities that monitor air quality,
outdoor air pollution fails to meet safety
guidelines set forth by the World Health
Organization (WHO) – including about
half of the urban population exposed to
air pollution that is at least 2.5 times higher than the WHO-recommended levels.
WHO estimates that outdoor air pollution was responsible for the deaths in
AIR QUALITY DROPS WORLDWIDE
2012 of over 3 million people under the
age of 60. The study also finds that of the
cities that report on air quality, only 12% of
people reside in a location that complies
with WHO air quality guidelines.
According to the EPA, proposed car-
bon reduction measures in the U.S., such
as cap-and-trade, transportation policies,
and a clean energy standard, that indi-
rectly improve outdoor air quality could
provide enough savings in reduced health
care to pay for or significantly reduce the
cost to implement them. In addition, WHO
recommends measures such as compact
urban development, street design that
welcomes pedestrians and bicyclists, and
better management of waste to reduce
outdoor air pollution levels.