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Study: Reconstruction offers greatest potential

Tue, 07/10/2012 - 12:53pm
Renovation holds vastly more promise for reducing negative effects on global climate change stemming from buildings, according to a new White Paper study by Building Design + Construction magazine. An analysis of data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration indicates that nonresidential structures already in the ground constitute 99% of the commercial space existing in the U.S. and Canada in any given year (compared with new construction). Any appreciable reduction in energy use and greenhouse gases will have to address the stock of existing buildings. Though some buildings must be demolished (often for safety reasons), many facilities that could have profitably been renovated are also destroyed each year. A study by the Preservation Green Lab unit of the National Trust for Historic Preservation indicates that it can take at least a decade and up to 80 years for a new, energy-efficient building go overcome the negative climate-change impacts created through destruction of an existing building, with its embodied energy. http://bit.ly/NHfj8X
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