[Greenbuilding] proof that stringent energy codes are effective

Brian Uher brian at amicusgreen.com
Mon Sep 27 05:50:25 PDT 2010


If we believe (for conventional buildings) that only 15% of the
carbon=(maybe)=embodied energy, the rest is O and M,
 do we (collective we) agree that addressing energy use is the first
priority, then embodied?

Yes, obviously as the embodied/O and M mix shifts, the majority of
carbon will shift (most likely) to the first cost/materials/embodied part.
It begs the question...


On 9/24/10 4:17 PM, Corwyn wrote:
> On 9/23/2010 2:11 PM, Alan Abrams wrote:
>>   Are Building Codes Effective at Saving Energy? Evidence from
>> Residential
>> Billing Data in Florida, NBER Working Paper, July, 2010
>> In response to the 1973 oil embargo, many states began passing building
>> energy codes in order to promote energy efficiency. While the vast
>> majority
>> of states have energy codes in place, policymakers are now attempting to
>> legislate energy codes at the federal level to help address more recent
>> concerns about energy efficiency and climate change. Nevertheless,
>> surprisingly little is known about whether energy codes are an
>> effective way
>> to reduce energy consumption in practice. This paper provides the first
>> evaluation of an energy-code change that uses residential billing
>> data on
>> both electricity and natural gas, combined with data on observable
>> characteristics of each residence. The study takes place in Gainesville,
>> Florida, and the empirical strategy is based on comparisons between
>> residences constructed just before and just after Florida increased the
>> stringency of its energy code in 2002. We find that the increased
>> stringency
>> of the energy code is associated with a 4-percent decrease in
>> electricity
>> consumption and a 6-percent decrease in natural-gas consumption. The
>> pattern
>> of savings is consistent with reduced consumption of electricity for
>> air-conditioning and reduced consumption of natural gas for heating.
>> We also
>> estimate economic costs and benefits and find that the private payback
>> period for the average residence is 6.4 years. The social payback
>> period,
>> which accounts for the avoided costs of air-pollution emissions, ranges
>> between 3.5 and 5.3 years.
> Any information on the embodied energy of the two sets of buildings?
> Thank You Kindly,
> Corwyn

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