'We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.'
- Sep 6, 2021 5:52 am GMT
“We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us.” Some of the best quotes about buildings point to the responsibility of the designer. In film, it has been debated that filmmakers have a responsibility to their audience. Do architects, designers and developers bear a similar responsibility? Architecture 2030 is urging all architects, engineers, planners and individuals to design all new projects, renovations, landscapes, cityscapes and infrastructure as zero carbon contributors. Step 1 of their plan is to design efficient buildings that use little energy to operate. Studies have shown that applying higher standards is cost effective and reduces occupant energy burdens. Reducing energy demand lowers greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels but it also reduces other air pollutants that can harm our health. A new modeling study revealed improving energy efficiency in buildings throughout the United States could prevent 1,800 to 3,600 premature deaths every year. The study first comprehensively examined the outcomes by modeling the effects of increased building energy efficiency on both indoor and outdoor air quality. Researchers used a computer model of the U.S. energy system to analyze two scenarios of energy efficiency improvements across residential, commercial, and industrial buildings.“Intensive energy efficiency improvements that are feasible and verified would save thousands of lives each year, but the gains could be even greater if they are coupled with improvements to indoor air recirculation and filtration,” says Kenneth Gillingham, professor of economics at Yale University and his collaborators in Science Advances journal. “These findings broadly align with the efforts to improve air recirculation and filtration inspired by COVID-19,” he adds.
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