Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings Is Our Greatest Opportunity

Gordon V.R. Holness, 2009-2010 President of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers), makes a strong case that improving energy efficiency in existing buildings is the most critical component in achieving long-term sustainability in the U.S. and around the world.

In an article titled Sustaining Our Future By Rebuilding Our Past, which appeared in the August 2009 issue of the ASHRAE Journal, Holness cites these facts to support his belief that existing buildings are the number one priority for saving energy, reducing dependence on imported oil and minimizing our carbon footprint:

  • Only 2% of construction projects are new construction.
  • More than 86% of construction dollars go into existing buildings.
  • 75% to 85% of all buildings that will exist in urban areas in 2030 exist today.
  • More than 150 billion square feet of commercial buildings will need to be renovated over the next 30 years.
  • Residential and commercial buildings consume more than 40% of our primary energy supply, 55% of natural gas, and more than 72% of all electrical power generated.

Holness makes it clear that new buildings, no matter how high their performance, cannot provide the worldwide
reduction in energy consumption needed to protect our future and preserve our planet.
Based on expected increases in the cost of all sources of energy, including gas, fuel oil, natural gas and electricity,
Holness urges the members of ASHRAE to concentrate on applying available knowledge and technologies and
developing new innovations to improve the energy performance of the built environment.

The Building Blocks for Sustainable Buildings Are in Your Hands

Ingenuity IEQ offers integrated solutions that enable owners, architects and contractors to retrofit existing buildings for maximum energy efficiency and indoor environmental quality. Our technologies and engineering expertise for energy conservation, airflow, air quality, surface protection and measurement can enhance the comfort, productivity, safety and operating efficiencies of buildings of all kinds.