With buildings accounting for 39 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States, climate change has accelerated its negative impacts. Scientists predict that if left unchecked, emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases from human activities will raise global temperatures by 2.5 F to 10 F this century and according to the latest IPCC report, that damage will be irrevocable!
This could produce rising sea levels, more frequent floods and droughts, and an increased spread of infectious diseases. A building’s carbon footprint is the amount of CO2 it produces during its operations and activities.
Reducing emissions thus, from buildings is most significant as buildings contribute nearly three-quarters of citywide emissions owing to the consumption pattern vis-a-vis electricity use, HVAC, etc. The legislation with its package of bills aims to evolve these consumption patterns for optimum efficiency and via cleaner energy sources.
Here are some of the most tested and credible ways to ensure reduced GHG emissions from your building:-
- Get an energy audit and building recommissioning
This is precisely the only way to track and rectify energy wastage in your building. This is also inevitably the first step towards energy efficiency for buildings. Reaching out to experts will help you quantify the excess wastage and devise a plan to check it immediately.
Recommission comprises an inspection of the building systems to ensure proper operation while adjusting sensors and controls. The biggest advantage is that you also meet the compliance requirements of Local Law 87, which demands these procedures at 10-year intervals. In addition, you will also be working towards a better grade under LL33.
If the task of making your building energy efficient sounds overwhelming, we recommend seeking help from the experts in the industry, particularly The Cotocon Group, who have an established history of rendering energy services.
- Maintain the HVAC
Heating, Ventilating and Air-conditioning (HVAC) are alone responsible for more than 40% of energy consumption. The labelled products help save up to 16% energy which translates to a weekly saving yearly saving of at least $100.
Air-conditioning does not contribute much to the bills, taking up around 6% of energy. ENERGY STAR central air-conditioning units provide 8% more efficiency. The air-conditioning systems are usually integrated with the heating systems implying that it’s ideal to purchase both at the same time to maximize efficiency.
- Check your water usage
Water is an extremely energy heavy aspect of any building and water-oriented strategies significantly reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Designing for water conservation, efficiency and reuse are among the largest and most cost-effective energy and carbon reduction strategies available. This can be achieved by specifying plumbing equipment that prevents leaks-or “real water losses”-the most troubling element of water efficiency which the experts call “non-revenue water.”
Water usage can be effectively reduced by also installing proper fixtures. Perhaps can following can help with the same:-
- Specify high-efficiency toilets with reduced average flush volumes compared to conventional toilets
- Use rainwater as a valuable water source.
- Design buildings to harvest rainfall and create outdoor spaces that rely primarily on precipitation for irrigation. Rainwater harvesting and xeriscaping can result in 50 percent savings in outdoor water use. Rainwater harvesting has a low environmental footprint because it’s not pumped long distances. Water for flushing toilets, irrigation and washing machines does not need to be potable, so using rainwater direct from a building’s roof lowers carbon footprint.