Why More Buildings Should Become More Energy Efficient
As we move towards the future, energy efficiency is a continued concern. With energy costs rising, and natural resources being depleted, building owners need to focus on technological advancements to help them design their buildings to reduce their carbon footprint. The good news is, there are many innovators focusing on a more energy-efficient future by retrofitting buildings to make them more energy efficient.
82 Westmorland Street
82 Westmorland is a passion project currently underway to show the benefits that retrofitting a building to make it more energy-efficient can have on the community as well as the environment. The project is expected to take six months to complete the retrofit process and expected to produce an energy savings of 2,325 GJ, which will cut the energy use of the building by half. Along with the energy savings, the retrofitting of the 65,00 square foot office space located on the corner of Westmorland and Queen Street in Fredericton, is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 175 tonnes, or the equivalent of removing at least 37 cars off of the road.
Planned upgrades to the building will include new ventilation and cooling system, LED lighting, and upgrades to heat and hot water. After the project is completed, it will achieve certification as the first LEED Gold Existing Building: Operations & Maintenance, making it the first of its kind in the New Brunswick area.
Why We Should Have More Buildings That Are Energy-Efficient
While the retrofit of 82 Westmorland Street may be one of the first of its kind, it will stand as a testament to why communities should invest in more energy efficient buildings. There are many problems that come with urbanization including congestion, high costs of living, and pollution that can lead to a wide range of health hazards. There has been a lot of focus on the energy-efficiency of new buildings, but little concern is giving to improving the energy efficiency of current buildings as well as iconic landmarks. So why should we have more buildings that are energy-efficient?
Building Are Long-Term Investments
Buildings are long-term and long lasting investments. When a building is more energy-efficient, it provides for better financial and social returns in the future. On a global scale, buildings account for 60% of electricity use, 12 % of water use, 40% of waste, and 40% of material use. With each energy-efficient improvement, the community will save money and resources. With lower income residents putting a large portion of their income towards utility bills, less energy use by buildings will translate to more affordable energy prices in the community.
Building Energy-Efficient Buildings is a More Affordable Way to Positively Affect Climate Change
As companies and the community become more environmentally conscious, reducing climate change causing emissions is a vital concern. With an energy-efficient building, you can significantly reduce carbon emissions at a marginal cost, and also enjoy a return on the initial investment in the energy cost savings that it will produce in as little as six months.
Energy-Efficient Buildings Can Improve Community Health
More than 3 million deaths occur each year as a result of energy-related outdoor air pollution. Smog and other pollutants can destroy the quality of the outdoor air leading to health hazards for the nearby community. Having more energy-efficient buildings not only reduces deaths, but also reduces the costs of pollution-related healthcare.
When communities and corporations invest to focus on developing more energy-efficient buildings and retrofitting current ones, everyone wins. Energy-efficient buildings provide for better health and energy costs for the whole community while having a global impact on the environment.