President Obama in his State of the Union address shared plans for making American businesses more energy efficient. Focusing on investing in innovative clean energy technologies, the ‘Better Buildings’ initiative aims to increase energy efficiency in commercial buildings by 20 percent over the next decade. Building on his other contributions, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and proposed “HOMESTAR” legislation, this series of incentives would hope to propel private sector investment to upgrade offices, stores, schools and other municipal buildings, universities, hospitals, and other commercial buildings.
We applaud the President’s ‘Better Buildings’ initiative, which mirrors directly what the AIA has been advocating. As a profession, architects are already helping make the President’s goals a reality.
The AIA has actively brought the challenging statistics facing commercial buildings energy consumption to the forefront, noting that this building type accounts for roughly 40 percent of total energy use. Facing architects even more prominently is the fact that commercial buildings also account for nearly 70 percent of all electricity consumed in the United States.
Because of their leadership role in the built environment, architects are in an ideal position to help implement the President’s initiative. In order to reach the President’s ‘Better Buildings’ goals, there is a crucial need for design experts to apply their experience, innovations and talents to current practices so that one of the major sources of energy use – the building in which we work – can be addressed.
As the President said today, the United States can ‘out-build’ the rest of the world. And architects are the catalysts for winning that contest.
For more on the AIA’s support of the ‘Better Buildings’ initiative click here.