Room to Improve LA Buildings Energy Efficiency

A RECENT symposium at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and the Ziman Center for Real Estate addressed the critical issue of increasing the energy efficiency of buildings.

The UCLA Green Building Symposium - Building Better Places discussed how vital it is for more buildings to increase the use of sustainable technology. Within new builds of commercial and residential buildings and retrofits in existing buildings.

Improved building energy efficiency not only can save substantially on utility bills but will also increase productivity and happiness for occupants, resulting in lower carbon emissions further improving the atmosphere internally and externally.

During the symposium sustainability leaders from across Los Angeles discussed challenges to improve sustainability of the building stock. They also revealed several misconceptions that provide stumbling blocks including amongst others: limited market information, misaligned incentives, and lack of available capital.

To overcome these challenges the panel suggested increasing market information to educate and show landlords that tenants are happy to pay for energy efficient buildings. Efficiency investments based on net present value, and not on the rate at which an investment breaks even, providing investors with accurate total investment value. Finally increasing accessibility and awareness of energy efficiency incentive programs and retrofitting financing opportunities.

Buildings in Los Angeles make up 51% of the city’s carbon emissions, the largest cause, hence energy efficiency in buildings is a vital component of the city’s sustainability efforts.

Picture of Los Angeles by Mfield, Matthew Field - (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday 11th March 2014

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