Energy used to be cheap and abundant in America, but our natural resources are being used at a rate greater than any time in the planets’ history. These resources create a country’s economy and their standing in the world. Simply stated, countries that are blessed with natural resources have more power, more influence and more money.
Our buildings use 23% of power generated in the world. For centuries, buildings have used natural resources to heat, cool, ventilate and illuminate them. In recent times, construction duration increases with building energy utilization.
Here are some reasons why:
- Buildings have been constructed in locales where climatic conditions do not allow for effective use of natural resources, such as the massive development of the deserts of the world.
- Buildings have been allowed to be constructed taller. Do you know how much energy is used to flush a toilet on the 100th floor?
- Environmental building systems are a little like Mc Donald’s. Unfortunately, many people eat at McDonalds because it is cheap and fast – just like many systems are designed for cheap installation costs. The real cost of a high-in-fat fast food hamburger is very large if you consider the price of medical attention, lack of productivity and early death… and that cost is even higher if these habits are passed on to the next generation.
Buildings’ energy costs are very high when you consider the following:
- The cost of energy is a variable. A typical operating business can experience over 25% of its profits going to energy increases in any given year.
- As big buildings try to save energy, they work with the controls that are designed into the system. The biggest energy saving is in reducing the return air, or making up air requirement. Reducing the air changes will make the building’s indoor air quality poorer, causing a lot of other issues such as dirty air, occupant illness and building maintenance issues.
Many large buildings use excessive amounts of energy. A Las Vegas megaresort might use 30 to 40 million dollars per year in energy. The ski slope in Dubai uses the carbon equivalent of 3500 barrels of oil per day to cool the ski area. The Indoor Ski Area in Dubai uses the carbon equivalent of 3,000,000 miles of driving per day. An outdoor ski area in an appropriate climate uses the equivalent carbon footprint of 1.5 days of Ski Dubai for their power consumption for the entire year. To even add more insult to this statistic, a standard ski area will entertain 20 times more skier days than Ski Dubai.
Big, energy wasting luxurious buildings are going the way of the big gas guzzling cars of the 70’s and 80’s. People will begin to make entertainment decisions on the basis of modern views when they have the opportunity… someone must be the first to build an ECO ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCT. Steelman Partners is in the process of trying to design this new product for many clients.
Posted: January 18th, 2010
at 2:04pm by Paul Steelman
Comments: 17 comments