Last week in President Obama’s State of the Union address he described his vision to create the Better Buildings Initiative. This week, I received more detail on his plan and after reading it, I thought, this plan could be the catalyst needed to help the United States (with Canada and hopefully the rest of the world following) make some big strides when it comes to addressing the climate change issue.
President Obama’s plan includes investing in innovative clean energy technologies and improving energy-efficiency in commercial buildings. One week later, people are still talking about it as many associations, institutes, corporations, building owners, universities, health care facilities, environmentalists and various stakeholders all over the United States are applauding him for it.
As The White House press release stated,
“Last year, commercial buildings consumed roughly 20 percent of all energy in the U.S. economy. Improving energy efficiency in our buildings can create jobs, save money, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and make our air cleaner. The President’s Better Buildings Initiative will make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by catalyzing private sector investment through a series of incentives to upgrade offices, stores, schools and other municipal buildings, universities, hospitals, and other commercial buildings.”
An outline of the Better Buildings Initiative is as follows:
- Achieve a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020
- Reduce companies’ and business owners’ energy bills by about $40 billion per year
- Save energy by reforming outdated incentives and challenging the private sector to act
- New tax incentives for building efficiency:
- More financing opportunities for commercial retrofits
- “Race to Green” for state and municipal governments that streamline regulations and attract private investment for retrofit projects
- The Better Buildings Challenge
- Training the next generation of commercial building technology workers
As energy-efficiency and retrofitting commercial buildings will play a big part in this initiative, so will external venetian blinds and dynamic solar facades. We already know the many benefits (reduced energy consumption, reduced solar heat gain/glare, natural daylight), yet external venetian blinds could be the easiest and most cost-effective product on the market to help Better Building Initiative participants reach their energy reduction goals.
What I would like to see is the White House with a nice set of white external venetian blinds.
And why not, you need to practice what you preach and what better way than to start at the top.
All in all, the Better Buildings Initiative is exactly what North America needed.
Good job Mr.President!
Tags: Better Buildings Challenge, Better Buildings Initiative, Building Efficiency, Commercial Buildings, Corporations, Energy Efficiency, external venetian blinds, Healtcare Facilities, Hospitals, President Obama, Race to Green, Retrofit, Universities, White House