Forum Asks, Can 30 Percent Energy Reductions Be Met By 2010?
An open forum examining the prospect of meeting a 30 percent improvement
in residential energy efficiency by 2010, sponsored by the Advanced
Building Coalition (ABC), was held yesterday in Chicago. Approximately
60 people, from the glass industry-including PPG, Pilkington, AGC
Flat Glass, representatives from the Glass Association of North
America, the Window and Door Manufacturers Association and others-other
parts of the building industry and government, were in attendance.
"The goal [of the forum] was to have experts in the field present
concepts and ideas as to how can we achieve an additional 30 percent
in energy savings over the current code by 2010," says Thom Zaremba,
the designated spokesperson for ABC and forum moderator. Zaremba
says these reduction was addressed both for commercial and residential
buildings. "We also had as the subject matter how the code development
process can assist in the development of this increased efficiency
in the code sector and what are some of the 30 percent solutions."
A variety of answers to this question were presented.
"There was a belief that 30 percent energy savings could be achieved.
The representative from Pacific Northwest National Labs [Todd Taylor]
asked some very poignant and difficult questions," Zaremba says.
Essentially, Taylor asked, "Thirty percent of what?"
How do we measure this and where do we start, Taylor asked of his
audience. With all of the energy that the building uses? The appliances?
Zaremba summarized, "The building is not just a structure, it is
a living thing with machinery in it and all these other things that
consume electricity and energy."
Henry Green, past president of the International Code Council's
(ICC) board of directors, also spoke at the event.
"He, as a building code official, indicated that he is convinced
that if building codes were properly [executed] and enforced … the
existing building codes, we could save at least 30 percent more
energy," Zaremba says.
Other speakers included Michael Freedberg from the U.S. Department
of Housing and Urban Development, Ron Majette from the Department
of Energy, Craig Drumheller from the National Association of Home
Builders, Craig Connor of Building Quality, Chuck Murray of Washington
State University and Julie Ruth, who represents the American Architectural
ABC will be holding additional forums in the future, asking new
Zaremba expects that the next open forum will be held sometime
between when the building code proposals are published by ICC in
November and the February code hearings. "It's going to ask the
question 'Will the current code proposals result in greater energy
efficiency or do we need the federal government to intervene?'"
ABC also intends to hold a forum to address possibilities for improving
energy efficiency on existing buildings.
The forums are relatively new to the industry, as the coalition
itself is only about six months old.
"About six months ago it occurred to me," says Zaremba, "that there
was a need for a really broad-based group of building component
manufacturers to get together and start to work together to develop
more efficient and cost effective building codes or energy codes
for construction of both residential and commercial buildings. So
we kinda got together on a real informal basis and decided that
we would develop this coalition."
Members of ABC include glass manufacturers AGC Flat Glass and Pilkington
North America, the International Window Film Association, as well
as consulting companies and other building component manufacturers.
The group intends to promote significantly increased building energy
efficiency, sustainability and other improvements in new and existing
Zaremba also notes that the group endorses a "whole-building" basis
for codes and efficiency programs, considers impacts on life safety
and fire safety important, opposes the use of the building codes
to gain competitive advantages and believes the cost of energy efficiency
to be an important consideration. ABC supports both code and "above
code" programs as ways to promote more efficient, durable and green
"It is very exciting," Zaremba says of the forums. "It's really
kind of revolutionary to bring all these groups together in an informal
context where they can explore all these alternatives."
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