In Focus: Environmental Impact Assessments on Buildings
Environmental impact assessments are carried out on buildings so as to ensure that the development has minimal or no negative effects on the environment. As part of these environmental assessments carried out on buildings, raters conduct energy efficiency assessments that help establish the amount of energy a building requires to operate. These periodical assessments help in evaluating the energy demands of that particular building, its locale and eventually the entire country. The reports produced by building rating specialists are useful in a number of ways apart from helping the energy sector anticipate demand. They are powerful tools that have brought about positive changes that are very good news for our fragile environment.
One of the most important contributions that have resulted from the energy efficiency assessments carried out by building raters is that they have encouraged improved energy usage. This is because building owners have realized that it is easier to sell or rent out properties that have a good energy rating. Tenants and prospective buyers know that buildings which have good energy ratings will see them spend less on power bills and thus are a better option for both commercial and domestic use. Such buildings will make maximum use of natural lighting, have effective insulation, require less heating and air conditioning along with employing any other energy saving measures.
Another notable impact resulting from the work of building raters is an increasing shift to green power sources. This has seen a significant growth in the uptake of solar and wind energy. Green power is not only good for the environment but also happens to be cheaper. Once again, building owners get to enjoy lower energy costs while doing a lot to protect the environment. It is important to note that advances in green energy have resulted in huge reductions in the cost of installing green power systems and they are now more affordable than ever before.
Another important point to bear in mind is that power generation is among the largest contributors of harmful pollutants that are damaging our environment. In the United States, power production releases the highest amounts of greenhouse gases. All efforts to reduce dependency on these power sources goes a long way in protecting the environment. Energy efficiency assessments therefore play a crucial role in encouraging property owners to take up green energy sources and implement energy saving measures. This helps cut the demand for energy that is produced in a manner that pollutes the environment.
Along with these direct benefits that result from the work building raters are carrying out, there are other areas in which improvements are being realized. These areas include building designs, town and city planning, green energy programs and a lot more. The reports produced during inspections have been seen to have a huge impact on the workings of those involved in these areas. This is further proof that energy efficiency assessments have contributed a great deal to environmental protection and are in many ways useful for more than just the simple rating of buildings as regards their energy consumption.
Photo by School of Natural Resources
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