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Author Topic: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”  (Read 61226 times)


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  • Young ice
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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #250 on: August 05, 2020, 03:42:11 PM »
Don't demolish old buildings, urge architects


In the past there was debate about whether it was better for the climate to demolish an old energy-hungry building and build a well-insulated replacement.

But this is now widely considered a serious mistake because of the amount of carbon emitted during the construction of the new building.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) estimates that 35% of the lifecycle carbon from a typical office development is emitted before the building is even opened. It says the figure for residential premises is 51%.

These calculations suggest it will be decades before some new buildings pay back their carbon debt by saving more emissions than they created - and these are decades when carbon must be sharply reduced.


It wants the government to change the VAT rules which can make it cheaper to rebuild than to refurbish a standing building.

Architects' Journal managing editor Will Hurst said: “This staggering fact has only been properly grasped in the construction industry relatively recently. We’ve got to stop mindlessly pulling buildings down.”

He said VAT on refurbishment, repair and maintenance should be cut from 20% to zero to match the typical rate for new-build.

He continued: “It’s crazy that the government actually incentivises practices that create more carbon emissions. Also, if you avoid demolition you make carbon savings right now, which we really need.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.


  • Nilas ice
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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #251 on: October 23, 2020, 11:00:33 PM »
Here's a story about a town in Kansas (USA) that rebuilt using sustainable methods after being destroyed by a tornado in 2007.

The town that built back green
After a tornado demolished Greensburg, Kan., it rebuilt without carbon emissions. Can its lessons help communities and economies rebound from fires, hurricanes and covid-19?

 By Annie Gowen
October 23, 2020

GREENSBURG, Kan. — After powerful tornadoes swept through Nashville earlier this year, killing 25 and leaving a trail of destruction for miles, one of the first calls officials made was to tiny Greensburg, population 900.

A wind-swept farming community in southwestern Kansas, Greensburg rebuilt “green” after an EF5 tornado — the most violent — barreled through at more than 200 miles per hour and nearly wiped it off the map in 2007.

A decade later, Greensburg draws 100 percent of its electricity from a wind farm, making it one of a handful of cities in the United States to be powered solely by renewable energy. It now has an energy-efficient school, a medical center, city hall, library and commons, museum and other buildings that save more than $200,000 a year in fuel and electricity costs, according to one federal estimate. The city saves thousands of gallons of water with low-flow toilets and drought-resistance landscaping and, in the evening, its streets glow from LED lighting.

Greensburg is no liberal bastion. It sits in Kiowa County, where Trump handily beat Hillary Clinton in 2016, carrying 83 percent of the vote.

But leaders there now are routinely consulted by communities around the world grappling with devastating weather events from wildfires, tsunami, earthquakes and floods — in Australia, China, Japan and Joplin, Mo. In March, the city council member in Nashville wanted to ask what kind of building codes or regulations could make its buildings more tornado-resistant going forward.

Greensburg’s efforts have gained new currency in recent months as climate catastrophes have continued to worsen and Americans struggle with a deadly pandemic that has shut down much of the economy — and begin to rethink what life might look like after a vaccine.

They held meetings in a temporary red-striped tent set up downtown, where townspeople commented on the rebuilding plan. And they stressed the practical savings of installing energy-efficient windows and insulation in new homes. According to a recent NREL estimate, energy costs for a 2,000-square-foot home with standard construction in Greensburg are about $1,820 annually. Adding more insulation, an energy-efficient furnace, LED lighting and a small solar panel system would save 70 percent of the energy use and reduce energy costs to $1,260 in the first year, which includes the additional mortgage costs for the upgrades.

More than a decade later, the town has about 400 modest, newly rebuilt homes — many of them with white-pillared front porches — centered in a small downtown where the key buildings are clustered among a few walkable blocks. There’s the city hall, hospital, courthouse, a commons building with a media center and library and school, all built with green construction features like angled windows that make the most of winter sun, cisterns to collect rainwater for irrigation and geothermal heating and cooling systems.

The green areas on the map above show where wind energy is commercially viable.

The city was able to halve its carbon footprint by shifting to 100 percent wind energy from a 10-turbine wind farm south of town that is owned and operated by Exelon Corp. The turbines, which began operating in 2010, are capable of producing 12.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power about 4,000 homes, according to Exelon.


  • Young ice
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Re: Energy Efficiency: The “First Fuel”
« Reply #252 on: November 05, 2020, 04:57:00 PM »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late