Energy – by the Numbers

Energy facts as reported in the book Plan B 4.0 by Lester R. Brown:

  • 2 – the number of times more expensive is the cost of a CFL bulb compared to an equivalent incandescent bulb
  • 4 – the number of times more energy used by a large screen plasma television, compared to an old-style cathode ray tube television
  • 10 – percentage of the world’s total energy consumption used by appliances in standby mode
  • 10 – the number of times longer that a CFL bulb will last compared to an equivalent incandescent bulb
  • 17 – the number of coal-fired power plants which could be closed if appliance standby mode electricity usage were reduced by just 1 percent
  • 40 – the percentage drop in residential energy use in California between 1975 and 2002 due to stringent building codes (compare to 16 percent reduction in the U.S. for the same time period)
  • 50 – the number of times longer that LED lights last compared to incandescent bulbs
  • 75 – the percentage reduction in electricity use for lighting which can be saved by replacing incandescent bulbs with the new CFL’s
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Would You Ride the Bus?

Photo courtesy of Lynx

Orlando – my city – and the surrounding Central Florida area – is at important crossroads with respect to transportation.  The area has grown largely through car ownership, with sprawling suburbs, multiple highways and, at least historically, anemic public transportation options.  To get most anywhere in Orlando requires that you get in a car and drive there, because a car is the fastest option, and in many cases, the only option.  These days, Interstate 4 often is a slow-moving parking lot during work commutes.  If you are traveling to the attractions area (Disney, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, etc.), the stretch of Interstate 4 to get there is crowded more often than it is not.  Like frogs in a pot of water being brought to a boil, most Orlando car drivers are becoming increasingly uncomfortable, without realizing that in the long term, they’re not going to last in their cars.

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Sustainability as a Market Advantage

Article first published as “Sustainability as a Market Advantage” on Technorati.com.

In my research and writing on the topic of sustainability, I look for examples of developers or owners who are fully motivated to build a sustainable building because of an overriding economic reason to do so.

Sure, there are visible stories about owners who build “green” because it is “the right thing to do”, and some tout that energy savings to the tenants will add attractiveness to sustainable buildings, but those savings seem quite undefinable in a way that will motivate the tenants to pay higher rent.

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The Practical Side of Sustainability – (Part Two)

This article first published as The Practical Side of Sustainability on Technorati.

The reality of the “green” or sustainable building movement, at least in the world of commercial real estate, is that it is relatively very small and not growing at a significant rate.   The U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) estimates that 2% of all new building construction projects receive LEED certification.  Existing buildings greatly outnumber newly-constructed ones, especially given the current economic market.  There are many good reasons to go green, but in the real world – the one in which we all live – there are significant practical reasons why building sustainability is stalling.

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The Practical Side of Sustainability – (Part One)

Many professionals tout sustainability and “green” practices as being here and now.  LEED building certifications seem to gain a lot of press these days, and architects and engineers line up to become LEED-certified professionals.  Webinars, seminars, publications abound with the latest information about green lease provisions, green construction terms, etc.  This author receives, almost daily, emails and flyers with notifications of upcoming events and publications which feature green topics.  But in reality, the number of green/sustainable buildings is relatively very small and not growing at a significant rate.   The U.S. Green Building Council (www.usgbc.org) estimates that 2% of all new building construction projects receive LEED certification.  While there are many good reasons to go green, in the real world – the one in which we all live – there are significant practical reasons why building sustainability is stalling.

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