Energy Efficiency


Our buildings consume more energy than industry or transportation, and we haven’t done a great job of reducing that consumption. We can do better by:

  • monitoring energy use

  • improving building commissioning

  • applying insights from building science

  • selecting innovative HVAC and building envelope technology

  • using natural ventilation and daylighting to provide low-cost alternatives to standard systems

As great as all these ideas are, they won’t be nearly as effective if we don’t engage occupants about energy use as well. Our articles look at all these strategies and more.

  • Sealed Blinds from Unicel Offer Flexibility, Low Maintenance

    Product Review

    Vision Control sealed interpane louvers, available with any type of glazing, offer numerous benefits, including energy savings and reduced maintenance compared with other blinds.

  • Mazria Publishes Code Equivalents for 2030 Challenge

    News Analysis

    Architecture 2030 has published a white paper showing the amount by which buildings have to beat various codes to meet the 50% energy reductions called for by the 2030 Challenge. More than a dozen codes and standards are presented, with 20%-30% improvement required for most.

  • Energy-Efficient Water Coolers from Elkay and Halsey Taylor

    Product Review

    Elkay and Halsey Taylor have introduced two pressure water filters, the VRCGRN and HVRGRN, respectively, with improved compressor and bubbler technology that lowers energy and water consumption.

  • An Affordable Heat-Pump Water-Heater Retrofit

    Product Review

    AirTap is an affordable heat-pump module that can be retrofit onto a conventional electric or gas water heater. The unit has a first-hour rating of 42.5 gallons, an efficiency of 240%, and a GAMA-tested energy factor of 2.11.

  • Wal-Mart Introduces Second Generation of High-Efficiency Stores

    News Analysis

    Following a long program of testing green practices in experimental stores, Wal-Mart is now building high-efficiency stores that are expected to be 25% more energy efficient than conventional stores, but critics say that's not enough.

  • 2007 Energy Bill Promotes High-Performance Buildings

    News Analysis

    Although several important provisions were stripped from the federal energy bill, key improvements to appliance standards and building energy-efficiency standards remain.

  • EPA Partnership Focuses on Commercial Refrigeration

    News Analysis

    GreenChill, a new partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, supermarkets, and equipment manufacturers, aims to improve refrigeration technology, save energy, and eliminate the use of ozone-depleting refrigerants.

  • LEED Delivers on Predicted Energy Savings

    News Analysis

    Data from the U.S. Green Building Council and the New Buildings Institute shows that, although varying widely in individual buildings, measured energy savings meet or exceeds predicted energy savings for LEED buildings on average.

  • President Bush Authorizes Energy Research But May Not Fund It

    News Analysis

    President Bush has warned he may not include funding for science and technology, authorized in a recent bill, in his budget request.

  • Phoenix Solar Tank Does it All-Efficiently

    Product Review

    The Phoenix Solar hot water tank stores both primary solar-heated and secondary gas-heated water.