AIA Pushes Federal Government to Reduce Energy Consumption
All new buildings and major renovations owned or leased by the federal government should immediately meet fossil fuel generated energy consumption targets that represent a 50 percent reduction from that of similar federal buildings in 2003, according to the American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) testimony before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
In 2010, this target would increase to a 60 percent reduction. The targets would increase thereafter at five-year intervals until 2030 when new federal buildings and major renovations would be carbon neutral.
“We testified before the Subcommittee on Energy of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in February, and were very encouraged to see that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has subsequently introduced legislation based closely on the AIA’s energy-efficient federal buildings proposal,” says RK Stewart, AIA president. “The Zero-Emissions Building Act of 2007 establishes reduction targets for fossil-fuel generated energy use in federal buildings, and we hope to further the momentum by taking that same important message to the House.”
Relevant facts on buildings role in global warming presented to Congress included:
- Buildings and the embedded energy of their interiors produce 48 percent of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change
- Buildings consume 71 percent of electricity produced at U.S. power plants
- Nonresidential buildings are in use an average of 75 years, consuming energy and producing emissions throughout their life
- U.S. buildings account for nearly the same amount of carbon emissions as the economies of Japan, France and the United Kingdom combined
“The General Services Administration alone is the single largest client of architectural services in the country,” says Marshall E. Purnell, first vice president, AIA. “We commend the House for considering measures to ensure that all new federal buildings are designed in an energy efficient manner, we can start making significant reductions in the amount of fossil-fuel generated energy our nation consumes through its buildings.”