Resources // Blog
Our Sustainable Future
Name: Maureen Drullard, PE, CRM, LEED AP BD+C
Title: Associate / Sustainability Manager
Years with the firm: 6
BS / Mechanical Engineering / State University of New York at Buffalo
MBA / Business Administration / State University of New York at Buffalo
Why do you think National Energy Awareness Month is important?
Climate change is one of the more pressing issues of our time. The United States consumes more energy per capita than any other nation on the planet. As global leaders we need to take a leadership position in preserving the planet and conserving energy, as the current patterns of energy generation and consumption are not sustainable. Nations that consume far less energy than the U.S. are doing far more than we currently are to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and to increase the percentage of energy generated from renewable sources. It’s time for us to step up as a nation and make some serious changes in our energy consumption habits and energy generation methods nationwide. What we’re currently doing as a nation is not enough. National Energy Awareness Month focuses due attention on the importance of the U.S. energy policy to our future success as a nation and world leader, and on the role of our energy policy in the turnaround of our economy.
How does facility design impact our sustainable future?
Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption. Approximately two thirds of the current building stock consists of existing buildings. These existing buildings are aging and tend not to operate at peak efficiency. With fossil fuel generated electricity and direct fossil fuel combustion as the primary sources of electricity and heat for U.S. buildings, the greenhouse gas footprint of our building stock is significant. Improvements in the efficiency of existing buildings; design of new construction that uses energy, water, and resources conservatively; and the incorporation of renewable energy generation into projects provide ample opportunities to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, which have a direct impact on climate change.
Not only will all of this work in improving the built environment yield benefits in energy conservation and greenhouse gas emissions, it will stimulate the U.S. economy. Design, construction, product manufacturing - all of these industries will reap the benefits of the immense amount of work at hand. Investing in energy conservation and renewable energy projects results in less money spent on utility bills and more money available for owners to reinvest in their own businesses and facilities. Additionally, increased demand for renewable energy and other sustainable products will make these products more accessible and affordable in the long run, further increasing their application and providing associated environmental benefits.
Our sustainable future is both environmental and economic. Facility design touches both facets, and is central to our national prosperity.
Category: InnovationPrint Email