When President Trump announced that the US would pull out of the Paris Climate agreement, many people, particularly those that have advocated for energy efficiency and renewables, were disappointed. Some were plain outraged. But in the wake of that announcement, many states, cities and corporations announced that ‘We Are Still In,’ and established their own carbon emission goals to help meet the Paris goals.
A building’s hydronic HVAC system is rarely just the sum of its parts. None of its components operate in a vacuum. By looking at a system as a whole rather than selecting components individually, it’s possible to maximize efficiency, decrease downtime and, ultimately, improve occupant comfort and the bottom line.
The future of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment is tied to low global warming refrigerants, many of which are at least mildly flammable. So why, at this stage in the phasedown, when California and other states are finalizing their plans for low-GWP refrigerants, are we asking if these refrigerants will be allowed to be used?
Finding the right balance between innovation and efficiency depends on the ease with which new designs can be tested and proven and enter the industrial and sales processes. Fortunately, a new toolkit is making innovation easier by cutting the timeline between R&D and market availability.
Initiatives like utility demand response programs or selling thermal energy to local district heating and cooling grids to produce revenue can help supermarkets with their bottom line. Today, the technology that enables supermarkets to implement these ideas is available in intelligent refrigeration control systems that can turn energy-using equipment into revenue-producing assets, while also creating more environmentally-friendly stores.
It can be argued that evolutions in building strategy and building delivery are running parallel. But to make significant progress we need to shift to an integrated approach that coordinates stakeholders across the building life into the design process, and an advanced delivery strategy for a more holistic approach to transform America’s complex urban landscape.
The cities of tomorrow will put new demands on our buildings. How do we prepare? A recent project to advance sustainable buildings and low-carbon communities underscores the importance of industry-academic collaboration in research and training.
Accepting and implementing rapid change has become the norm across America. The growing depth of change in the building sector suggests that traditional resistance to change is not irreversible. Indeed, historical building industry practices are more likely the result of an information deficit than of things inherent to the market. Even knowledgeable building professionals remain
The increasing demand for water leads to growing energy consumption, which consequently affects climate. Fortunately, solutions exist today to help countries and municipalities worldwide save water and energy in water supply, wastewater treatment, and irrigation of farming areas.
It’s clear: safety measures cost. And cost impacts the economy. So when economic growth levels are historically low, questions arise about safety. Do we really need all these regulations? Can we afford the safety measured we have imposed on ourselves? Should we instead pay more attention to cutting unnecessary costs and improving our productivity?