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Please Explain: Making Green Building Affordable

April 17th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Buildings consume 33% of our energy. This probably explains why there’s been a lot of attention to “green” building” lately.

WNYC’s Leonard Lopate recently covered green building, on the “Please Explain” segment of his radio show. While it doesn’t really get into the technical stuff, I think atleast the first 15 minutes provide a good introduction to the background of the issues. The segment includes a co-founder of LEED, so we know the information is reputable.

Here’s a stream of the audio:

and here’s a link the the mp3.

Notable points from the program:

  • The new Bank of America Building in NYC is designed to capture water into storage tanks for mechanical systems.
  • The White House has taken steps to improve its energy efficiancy. They recently installed solar hot water heaters, saving taxpayers $300,000 year.
  • US Government uses 2.3% of the country’s energy (about $10 billion dollars). Consequently, there are programs in place to make Federal buildings more green.
  • Small shallow floorplates of older buildings, using U-and H-shaped layouts, allow more daylight, better ventilation, and potentially greater energy efficiency than newer buildings with 30- to 40-ft floorplates from facade to elevator core. Artificial light and air conditioning enable these floorplates to be practical, but they require more energy.
  • More than 5000 “green” buildings in the US today
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