Energy efficient buildings conference highlights goals, challenges for global industry

August 29, 2012

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy held its 17th biennial conference on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, where a diverse group of officials from around the world came together to discuss the many factors involved with reducing the emissions levels for commercial buildings.

According to a release from the organization, the presentations at the event were related to the theme, "Fueling Our Future with Efficiency," and the work was focused on a number of areas related to the make-up, construction of and maintenance of buildings.

The organization noted that the problems in the energy efficient buildings sector could be overcome with a joint public-private partnership and a push toward the successful implementation of programs that are proven to be effective.

"To progress towards an energy-efficient and sustainable future, the pace of investment in, and implementation of, energy use reduction strategies must be greatly accelerated," said the ACEEE. "Well integrated government and utility programs, codes and standards, technologies, integrated design processes, operation practices and financing sources need to be further developed and cost-effectively implemented, while addressing behavioral factors and workforce development needs."

Certain programs in the U.S. have helped to increase the number of retrofits and the speed with which efficient practices have been adopted.

The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) in Philadelphia has worked to promote progress in the sector by transforming its host city's building stock to act as a national model for the industry.

The California Better Buildings Challenge is another program that has helped to promote progress in the sector, and the Department of Energy – which also helped to finance the EEB Hub – noted this this effort is generating success in the state in terms of the adoption of more efficient structures.

"These projects in California exemplify what businesses across the U.S. can do to reduce costs, increase their competitiveness, and protect our air and water," said Dr. David Danielson, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "Across the U.S., the buildings in which we work, shop and study account for a significant portion of our nation’s energy use, costing businesses and other organizations approximately $200 billion each year."

Commercial buildings have been a target of the DOE for reducing energy use for years, and with efforts like the Better Buildings Challenge and the EEB Hub.