It's High Performance Building Week! I hope you've chosen to commemorate the event appropriately.
Or perhaps you've been too caught up in other important affairs – high school graduations, summer vacations, walking the dog — to have gotten wind of this momentous occasion. For the record, the honor was announced in early June, when the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution to that effect. NEMA, naturally, played a role in the passage of the resolution.
Of course, some congressional dedications may be more sentimental (like National Pet Week) and others may represent political nods to worthy constituents (National Plumbing Industry Week, anyone?). Still, the dedication of a High Performance Building Week reflects a growing understanding that huge energy-efficiency gains can be made through using technologies — such as advanced lighting, thermostat, and HVAC systems — available today in new and retrofit buildings. For example, as the resolution states:
- Buildings consume 40% of the primary energy and 70% of the electricity in this country annually.
- Construction of buildings and their related infrastructure consume some 60% of all raw materials used in the U.S economy.
- Buildings account for about 39% of U.S. CO2 emissions each year.
Obviously, the promotion of buildings that have substantially greater energy, economic, and environmental performance over standard buildings is a worthy cause. At least as worthy as National Asbestos Awareness Week. So don't let the opportunity escape — commemorate high performance buildings this week!