Alliance To Save Energy Joins White House Initiative To Incorporate Resilience Into Building Energy Codes

Release Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2016

UPDATED BUILDING ENERGY CODES CONTRIBUTE TO MORE RESILIENT, ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDINGS AND CLIMATE ADAPTATION AND MITIGATION

Washington, D.C., May 10, 2016 -- Today, the Alliance to Save Energy joined over 30 organizations and agencies in a series of commitments aimed at strengthening the U.S. building sector by pledging to promote resilience in the built environment through our work promoting the development and adoption of building energy codes. Building energy codes increase energy productivity, and reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to unprecedented and unpredictable climate trends and extreme weather events. 

Today’s commitments, featured at an event convened by the U.S. National Security Council, serve as a catalyst to begin the discussion of preparation for more extreme weather events and the hardening and improved resilience of nation-wide residential and commercial buildings.

Specifically, the Alliance commits to:

  • Leading the thorough documentation of general and specific barriers to the adoption of building energy codes that would reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to unpredictable and unprecedented climate trends and extreme weather events; 
  • Incorporating resilience into existing Alliance building energy code education, development, and implementation efforts;
  • Featuring resilience experts in future Alliance events aimed at promoting building energy code development and implementation; and
  • Documenting and publishing in printed and online media the Alliance’s work accomplished in the service of this commitment for policy makers, building energy code stakeholders and the public.

Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan said, “We applaud the administration for undertaking an effort to improve our built environment. A building constructed today will stand for 50, 75 or even 100 years, which is important because we expect to see more extreme weather in the coming decades. Because of the inherent unpredictability of climate trends, we do not know how severe the ‘worst-case’ scenarios will be.

“We are, however, certain that updated building energy codes and the resulting energy efficiency gains will help our natural environment be healthier and our built environment be more resilient,” continued Callahan. “Strong building energy codes lead to lower emissions – which will mitigate global climate change and have a positive effect on reducing extreme weather events. And more efficient buildings are more productive and better equipped to handle extreme heat and cold.”

A number of Alliance Associate members that are also engaged in building energy code development and implementation applauded this new initiative and offered statements of support.

"At Covestro we support the construction of strong, energy-efficient buildings,” said Richard Skorpenske, Director of Advocacy and Sustainability. “As a raw material supplier to many building and construction products, we strive to help provide sustainable and lasting solutions for both commercial and residential buildings. Building energy codes help lower energy consumption and enhance building resiliency.”

“Improvements in the design of high performance and energy-efficient building envelopes can be directly attributed to the advancement of our nation’s model building codes,” said Jane Palmieri, Business President for Dow Building & Construction. “We applaud the White House for focusing on this often overlooked, yet key contribution, to addressing the energy demand of buildings in the U.S. and the long-term impact codes can play in carbon reduction.”

“The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) fully supports the growing efforts to include building and community resilience into our building codes and city planning activities,” said Robert E. Horner, Director of Public Policy. “Resilience goes hand-in-hand with energy efficiency and sustainability in the built environment. The IES is proud to be a partner of the Alliance to Save Energy in this important next step in making our infrastructure safer and more secure.”

“The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) supports efforts to use building energy codes to help make buildings both more efficient and more resilient,” said Victor Palacio, IALD President. “Specifically, the IALD supports energy codes which allow the creation of sustainable, resilient designs that meet occupant needs while helping prepare for an uncertain future.”

“Improved building code requirements over the past decade have been the single, unifying force in driving high performing and more resilient building envelopes, especially in states that have taken the initiative to extend these requirements to building renovations,” said Jared Blum, President, Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association. “Studies have shown that the thermal performance of buildings during major energy disruptions can impact the life-safety of the occupants.”

“Strong building energy codes are critical to assuring our nation’s buildings maximize energy efficiency and demonstrate resiliency in extreme conditions,” said Brandon Tinianov, View’s VP of Business Development. “Importantly, building energy codes catalyze the adoption of new technologies such as View dynamic glass that will contribute to a new generation of high-performance buildings that save energy and keep occupants healthy and productive."