Buildings are big users of energy — accounting for over 40% of all energy use in the U.S. — and as a result, they are a major contributor to global climate change.
Air Quality: Buildings are connected to clean air in two ways. Buildings are made of materials that can emit harmful substances into the air in the building. Venting and filtration systems can mitigate these dangers. The energy it takes to run a building also pollutes the air. For every kilowatt hour of electricity or gallon of oil used, greenhouse gasses and small particulates release into the air we breathe and into the atmosphere that protects us. Energy building codes that increase efficiency lead directly to cleaner, safer air for our bodies and our planet
Buildings are Energy Hogs: 40% of energy use, 70% of electricity use, and 40% of emissions come from buildings. Those emissions contribute to poor public health by degrading air quality and contributing to climate change. Climate change means more extreme weather, which can be detrimental to the health of the elderly and marginal populations, especially higher high or lower low temperatures and severe storms. To respond to this challenge, building professionals have made great strides to improve the efficiency of buildings. The technology is available to make buildings almost carbon neutral. To achieve major energy savings across the building stock – and reduce CO2 emissions in a meaningful way – we need to improve building and energy codes to encourage the development industry to use this technology.
Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction: Homes are responsible for 18 percent of U.S. global-warming emissions, and over the long term, as more housing stock meets new energy codes, that could be cut in half.
Efficiency Benefits Broader Society: Efficient buildings contribute to a healthier, wealthier broader society by mitigating emissions of greenhouse gasses that lead to climate change and lowering electricity demand.
Costly Construction of Healthcare Facilities: Currently, health care facilities in the United States waste approximately $5 billion per year in construction costs, and most of this waste is caused by the difficulty of meeting the sometimes conflicting requirements of separate building codes.
Everyone deserves to be safe. You can work to ensure that your government representatives take this seriously by taking action!