Energy efficiency

19 April 2019

Seven reasons why embodied carbon matters

While the construction industry has made great strides in addressing operational energy consumption (the amount of energy used to run the building), embodied carbon has been given the same attention. Most calculations around the carbon footprint of work often don’t account for embodied carbon: the carbon emissions produced as a result of the harvest/extraction, refinement […]

17 April 2019

New IEA report points to critical role of buildings in clean energy transition

The world’s energy supply is almost as carbon intensive as it was two decades ago. Energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose by 1.7% in 2018, following an increase of 1.6% in 2017. This comes after three years of emissions staying flat and is due to a variety of factors, including economic growth, extreme weather and […]

16 April 2019

Algae are being used to increase the output of solar panels

Researchers in Sweden have developed a technique for improving the performance of solar panels through the use of an innovative algae material. The LIFE SUNALGAE project is the first of its kind that extract and utilize the shell of certain types of algae to enhance the performance of solar panels. The technology which moves into […]

10 April 2019

IRENA study: Renewable energy could meet 86% of global power demand by 2050

If policymakers, businesses and investors across the world collaborate to scale-up renewable energy and to electrify sectors such as transport and heavy industry, 86% of the global power demand could be met with clean energy by 2050, new research from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has found. IRENA’s new report, entitled “Global Energy Transformation: A […]

26 March 2019

US: ‘Coal is on the way out’ – fossil fuels costlier than solar or wind

A new study shows that around three-quarters of US coal production is now more expensive than solar and wind energy in providing electricity. “Even without major policy shift we will continue to see coal retire pretty rapidly,” said Mike O’Boyle, the co-author of the report for Energy Innovation, a renewables analysis firm. “Our analysis shows that […]

15 March 2019

New EU study shows scenarios for fossil-free energy by 2050

Cutting energy use in buildings, ramping up renewable electricity and developing large-scale storage with hydrogen are key tracks to bring energy emissions down to zero by 2050, according to a new study. Buildings renovation, for instance, can bring up to €23 billion worth of savings on energy bills for households. “The debate is no longer […]

8 March 2019

‘Microgrid’ power islands integrate renewables and provide decentralised energy solution

The ABB factory in Johannesburg, South Africa, is powered by an innovative ‘microgrid’ solution, which ensures a continuous local power supply as well as a reduced reliance on fossil fuels. It provides resilient power to ensure a reliable, 24/7 supply of electricity to the 96,000 square meter Longmeadow facility, which is home to around 1,000 […]

6 March 2019

“Mission Possible: Achieving a sustainable future for construction” – new report

Sustainability is becoming increasingly embedded within the construction sector, but the truth remains that there is still a huge amount of work to do to place the industry on a resource efficient, low-carbon pathway, says a new sector report. The report investigates what must happen next to accelerate this transition and looks at the five […]

27 February 2019

New Procurement approach improves inner city housing renovation

A new approach to the funding and public procurement of renovation work for council housing renovation is being trialled under the EU-funded Remourban programme. The model uses an innovative, whole-life approach to finance; the cost of the works is designed to be equal to the expected savings in maintenance and energy over a 30-year period. […]

30 January 2019

The City of Boston steps up action to be leading carbon neutral city in United States

To be in full compliance with the Paris Agreement the authorities of the city of Boston are developing roadmaps to reduce carbon pollution in buildings and transportation, and updating its Climate Action Plan. The roadmaps will identify critical action pathways for Boston’s public and private building and transportation sectors, strengthening the strategies needed to achieve the […]

29 January 2019

WWF report highlights 10 signs the green economy is underway

A report drawn up by WWF argues that in an ever-growing variety of sectors, the green economy is developing and starting to take over the fossil based economy. The report “10 Signals: Evidence the Green Economy is Underway” shows that the green economy is creating more jobs, offering more investment opportunities, providing an alternative to […]

23 January 2019

Reusing buildings should – and must – be the next Big Thing

Sustainability awards and standards touted by professional architecture organisations often stop at opening day, failing to take into account the day-to-day energy use of a building. With the current format unlikely to change, how can we rethink the way what sustainability means in architecture today? The first step might be to stop rewarding purpose-built architecture, and look […]

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