Big Numbers

Although this article has been out for a few days, The Building Advisor just couldn’t pass it up. “Hospitals Can Cut Energy Use 60% by Redesigning their Energy Systems” went up on Environmenal Leader earlier this month, but did you really comprehend it? Because it’s kind of mindblowing.

According to a study from University of Washington’s Integrated Design Lab and architecture firm NBBJ, hospitals can achieve an estimated 60% reduction in energy use totalling $730,000 annually for a newly constructed, code-compliant hospital.

Some of the proposed efficiencies include heat recovery, daylighting, in-room environment tempering, vacancy air control, and thermal energy storage. The study, “Targeting 100! Envisioning the high performance hospital: implications for a new, low energy, high performance prototype” (PDF), outlines how these these efficiency strategies can be achieved without substantially increased capital investment.

And while we’re talking impressive stats, here’s a little followup to last week’s post with the fun poll which included a mention of Pike Research and its recent report predicting private commercial buildings to be the next boom for energy efficiency. Mother Nature Network’s Melissa Hincha-Ownby blogged on the estimated 6 billion square feet of certified green building space worldwide to be created this year, nevermind the 53 billion we may uncover over the next decade.

And why the rush? Hincha-Ownby sums up the report findings this way:

“…there are three drivers for pursuing green building certifications: companies are embracing the importance of green building as part of their overall corporate social responsibility plans and certified office space helps the company meet their CSR goals, energy efficient buildings can reduce annual operating costs, and the increasing frequency of government instituted regulations mandating greener buildings.”

That means BuildingAdvice and its benchmarking, assessment and audits of energy efficiency in commercial buildings comes in second. Where do you rate it?
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