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USGBC Wants an Environmental Label for Every Building

USGBCbuildingimpactEvery building in the U.S. should have a label as to its environmental impact, said the U.S. Green Building Council’s president at the Healthy Buildings meeting. At the same event, IBM told how it is taking green buildings one step further with bright-green buildings, which converges green buildings with intelligence, said an IBM executive, reports Central New York News.

Rick Fedrizzi, president of the U.S. Green Building Council, would like to see a label similar to nutrition labels found on food packaging on the side of every building, that discloses the quality of the air, water and other environmental factors inside, reports Central New York News. Fedrizzi was the opening keynote speaker at the Healthy Buildings 2009 conference.

Fedrizzi said in the article that indoor environmental quality ranks near the bottom of the nation’s policy issues, and to change that, more research is needed to demonstrate the links between health and indoor air quality. He also noted that green building research attracted less than 1 percent of all federally funded research in 2007.

Jane Snowdon, a key executive at IBM’s Intelligent Building and Smarter City Research at the T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., told an audience at the Healthy Buildings 2009 conference that buildings need to be smarter because they consume 70 percent of the world’s electricity, 12 percent of its potable water and 40 percent of the raw materials used globally, reports the newspaper. They also create 136 million tons of waste per year worldwide, she said.

The smart grid would play an integral role in making buildings more energy efficient. As an example, National Grid, a utility in New York and New England, has applied for $200 million in federal stimulus money to create a smart grid in three states involving 200,000 customers, reports the newspaper.

Christopher Cavanagh, director of new products and services for the utility, told Central New York News that smart meters, appliances and monitoring systems will let consumers choose to consume energy when it’s cheaper — generally at night, or off-peak hours — and let the utility manage demand for energy.

To help building owners garner financial savings from green building practices, a new nonprofit organization was formed earlier this year to support and promote environmental sustainability among property owners and managers nationwide.

The Association of Green Property Owners and Managers (AGPOM) offers several services to members including a cost-effective Green Building Plan, green insurance products that provide discounts for going green, and Green Premium Plus, a program based on renewable energy credits (RECs).

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