When it comes to the consumption of energy, its our cities that guzzle up more natural resources than anything else. While its easy to pick out culprits, the reality is that finger pointing will never make the problem better. We need to act now and we need to act fast. The solution to the global warming problem is not to ban all cars and planes nor is it to stop all factories. Life has to go on and finding green alternatives is something that is effective and can be implemented relatively quickly.
Our buildings consume a lot of energy and it presents us with one of the best opportunities to implement green technology. Imagine how much energy just the lights on one skyscraper guzzles up in a single day. Now, imagine if we can cut just 20% off that. Imagine if we can do that for all the buildings in just a city like New York.
With that in mind the legislation is already in place to start this process. In fact, its been in effect since 2002 in some major cities like London. The principle is very simple. New buildings are judged by a rating system and the rating system takes into account the energy consumption of a new building. All new buildings has to meet a certain standard while buildings that exceed the limit can be rewarded. These incentives are working very well and its become a huge incentive for companies to have a high green rating for their new buildings. Its become a way for companies to identify themselves with a green standard.
These rating systems are constantly evolving and are worked out to benefit everyone. Even buildings on small budgets can comply and even excel with the ratings. While the benefit of a high rating does a lot for a company’s image, the long term running costs is proving to have some sizable financial advantages. Although green technology is often a big expense to roll out in the beginning, the long term savings is where the real advantages lie.
So, with green technology becoming a “status symbol” for new buildings and the fact that its saving the planet and saving buildings millions of dollars in running costs its definitely changing the way we are designing buildings.