Global Warming’s “Sleeping Giant”? Our Homes, Offices and Buildings.

RK Stewart from American Institutes of Architects joins Craig to discuss the “sleeping giant” contributing to global warming – our buildings.

Our buildings consume nearly three-quarters of all electricity generated at U.S. power plants, natural gas and coal fired power plants. In addition, Buildings contribute nearly half of America’s green house gas emissions that cause climate change.

U.S. buildings account for nearly the same amount of carbon emissions as the economies of Japan, France and the United Kingdom combined.

RK will discuss the steps that can be taken to employ eco-friendly design across the U.S., the technology surrounding sustainable design, as well as details on tax incentives for homeowners and businessowners to build green.

Buildings account for an estimated 48 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, far more than transportation or industry sectors. Additionally, buildings consume 76 percent of all electricity generated by power plants.

AIA recently testified before the US Senate Energy subcommittee where the organization recommended that all new buildings and major renovations owned or leased by the federal government should immediately meet fossil fuel generated energy consumption targets that represent a 50 percent reduction from that of similar federal buildings in 2003.

The use of green building materials, proper site selection, renewable energy sources and innovative heating and cooling technologies can have a measurable impact on reducing the adverse effect that buildings have on our environment.

Where Boston ranks in “green” building:

From The site recently published its 2006 US city rankings of the 50 largest cities—the nation’s most complete report card on urban sustainability. Boston ranks as #7. “Recent efforts at urban renewal have had positive environmental effects: A 12 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, a 25 percent to 33 percent reduction of noise in surrounding neighborhoods, and the addition of 320 acres of new parkland, according to”

Atlanta, Portland, Seattle, Washington, DC and Sacramento top the list for LEED certified and registered buildings. In general, the West coast and East coast dominate when it comes to LEED certified structures.

The AIA has recently launched How Design Works, a website that shows consumers how they can work with an architect in order to design or renovate a green home.

Video case studies and FAQ sheet are included on the site:

About The American Institute of Architects
For 150 years, members of The American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. AIA members have access to the right people, knowledge, and tools to create better design, and through such resources and access, they help clients and communities make their visions real.

RK Stewart’s bio:

RK Stewart, president, American Institute of Architects: RK Stewart, FAIA, a principal at Gensler… Architecture, Design & Planning Worldwide, was elected to serve as the 2006 American Institute of Architects (AIA) first vice president/president-elect and 2007 Institute president-elect-elect. The election took place on May 20 during the AIA National Convention in Las Vegas, NV. In 2007, the organization, with a current membership of nearly 75,000 licensed architects, will mark its 150th anniversary representing the nation’s architects.

In his role as 2007 AIA president, RK will leverage his expertise and experience to increase the profession’s overall value to society through the AIA’s focus on advocacy, community, and knowledge. He will work to broaden the architectural profession through greater support for emerging professionals and to promote diversity within its ranks. RK hopes to see the industry enhance its influence through new ways of constructing a more sustainable built environment. He hopes this effort will be led by design professionals who utilize their creativity and expertise to design and build projects more efficiently, while incorporating strategies and elements that are sustainable, more economical, and of higher quality. By guiding the profession toward active engagement with government through advocacy efforts, he hopes the industry will play a greater role in creating “livable communities” across the nation.

RK Stewart joined Gensler in 1988 with extensive experience in large scale, mixed-use projects, institutional, renovation/restoration projects, and high-rise office towers. Mr. Stewart manages large-scale, complex projects applying his expertise in the architectural design, development and documentation process coupled with his understanding of engineering disciplines. Mr. Stewart’s experience in complex regulatory approval processing makes him a firmwide resource for planning code, building code, historic preservation and similar issues. As a rotating member of the firm’s Management Committee in 2000 – 2001, Mr. Stewart led development of improvements in Gensler’s Design and Delivery Systems, including technical, specifications, CAD, project management and learning committees. To improve the communities in which we practice, Mr. Stewart has been involved in advocacy efforts across the state and nation. Mr. Stewart’s contributions to the profession were recognized with his investiture in the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2001. At the 2005 American Institute of Architects Annual Meeting Mr. Stewart was elected to serve as the organization’s national President in 2007. He received his Bachelor of Environmental Design from The University of Kansas, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Michigan.


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