Sustainable Architecture from the AIA

by free electron on January 31, 2008

I said my next post was going to be on President Bush’s state of the union address, but it was so boring to listen to…

But I did listen to public radio this morning: Earth and Sky was talking to R.K. Stewart. Stewart is the 2007 President of the AIA, the American Institute of Architects.

Stewart said that a 50% reduction in energy is easy in new buildings. And that 75% of buildings that will be used in the next 30 years do not yet exist. This is a huge place for energy savings. About half of all energy is used in buildings. And 71% of all electricity from U.S. power plants is used in buildings. Imagine if that were cut in half. Think of all the coal power plants that would not have to be built.

Some of the techniques are simple: better HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), better windows, better insulation, better lighting. I am sure other techniques include using different materials for construction as well and using landscaping to help with shading and wind as well.

The AIA has a goal of reducing energy use in the construction and maintenance of buildings. Learn more from them at

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