AIA Comments on the Passing of the Energy Policy Modernization Act

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate passed S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act. The legislation repeals targets for reducing fossil fuel consumption in federal buildings contained in Section 433 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by then-President George W. Bush.

AIA President Russell Davidson, FAIA, says: “Cutting fossil fuel consumption in new and renovated federal buildings by 2030 is clearly something we can achieve as a nation. My fellow architects are already designing buildings that are “net zero” consumers of energy. According to government statistics, better designed buildings have already saved our country approximately $560 billion in energy costs since 2005.

“Therefore it makes no public policy sense for Congress to cave in to the oil and gas lobby and kill requirements to reduce fossil-fuel consumption in federal buildings. As we have noted before, residential and commercial buildings account for almost 40 percent of both total U.S. energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Last December, nearly 200 nations, including the U.S., committed in Paris to reducing the planet’s carbon footprint.

“Uncle Sam must continue to be a leader worldwide in energy conservation and reduced dependence on the use of fossil fuels. Yet we are effectively abrogating this role with this short-sighted vote, which will continue to hold federal taxpayers hostage to the whims of global energy markets.

“We were gratified by the White House’s announcement in December that the President would veto the House energy legislation, specifically citing the repeal of Section 433 as one of several major objections. We hope that lawmakers come to their senses and strip this provision from any final bill.”

A Trade Association Brings Roofs to the Sustainability Discussion

Roofs, first and foremost, keep water and the elements out of a building. The roofing industry has done this quite well since the modernization of buildings began more than a century ago. Along the way, a number of trade associations—ARMA, ERA, MCA, NRCA, PIMA, SPFA, SPRI—have formed and evolved as materials and trends have changed. Each group provides excellent information relative to its mission and goals. Yet we know change keeps coming.

THE BYRON WHITE COURTHOUSE, DENVER, features a RoofPoint-certified high R-value (R-30) roof for energy savings. A dual-reinforced Derbigum modified bitumen membrane, 90-mil base sheet and a high-density coverboard were installed.

THE BYRON WHITE COURTHOUSE, DENVER, features a RoofPoint-certified high R-value (R-30) roof for energy savings. A dual-reinforced Derbigum modified bitumen membrane, 90-mil base sheet and a high-density coverboard were installed.

Since the turn of the century, the awareness and push for energy efficiency of buildings and the sustainability for materials and building design has grown substantially and has become an important topic in the public forum. Sustainability and environmentalism are universal topics.

Serving as a unified voice for issues involving roofing, energy and the environment, the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing was established in Washington, D.C., in 2008. The non-profit organization’s focus is to advocate and promote the use of environmentally friendly, high-performance roof systems, not just within the U.S., but in North America and globally. The center is a member-based association consisting of roofing manufacturers, roofing contractors, roofing consultants, raw-material suppliers and other trade groups within the roofing industry.

To promote the sustainability of roof systems, the center develops resources, products and educational information that can be used by the building industry to advance the longevity, durability and overall sustainability of roofs. Increased awareness of the importance of a building’s roof is critical to the center’s mission. The roof can be a large contributor to the energy efficiency of the building, a long-term asset and, increasingly, a location for energy production (solar, wind).

ROOFPOINT

The center’s premier program is RoofPoint, a guideline for environmentally innovative nonresidential roofing. RoofPoint is used to evaluate new and replacement roofs for commercial and institutional buildings based on their environmental performance during the life cycle of the building the roof covers. This provides a useful measure for what constitutes a sustainable roof during design, construction, operation and decommissioning.

RoofPoint is primarily a rating system, and when certain minimums are met, a roof can become a RoofPoint Certified roof. Certificates and plaques noting RoofPoint certification can be awarded and used to validate a commitment to sustainability and the environment.

RoofPoint is based on current state-of-the-art processes and methods, remaining technology neutral. It does not rank or prioritize materials or systems; however, RoofPoint emphasizes energy efficiency and long-term performance and durability as overarching key attributes of a sustainable roof. Material recycling and reuse, VOCs, water capture and reuse, hygro-thermal analysis, and operations and maintenance are a few of the categories within RoofPoint.

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Track Your Fleet, Driver Behavior and CO2 Emissions

Azuga, an instant-install cloud-based GPS fleet tracking and driver behavior solution, announced a new capability that provides a more accurate idling and carbon footprint report than legacy GPS systems in the market.

Azuga, an instant-install cloud-based GPS fleet tracking and driver behavior solution, announced a new capability that provides a more accurate idling and carbon footprint report than legacy GPS systems in the market.

Azuga, an instant-install cloud-based GPS fleet tracking and driver behavior solution, announced a new capability that provides a more accurate idling and carbon footprint report than legacy GPS systems in the market. Azuga customers have reported reducing their fleet’s CO2 emissions by at least 600 pounds per vehicle annually by using this capability.

According to World Resources Institute, fuel consumption from vehicle use generates 75 percent of a vehicle’s CO2 emissions over its life cycle. Furthermore, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that most vehicles run at maximum efficiency at 60 miles per hour, and every 5 mph over 60 decreases efficiency by 6 percent. These factors, coupled with excessive idling, delayed maintenance and inefficient routing can contribute to increasing a fleet’s total CO2 emissions.

Azuga G2 technology actually “talks” to the engine every second versus traditional GPS systems that infer idling based on infrequent GPS signals and less accurate GPS speed and ignition sensing. Azuga gives fleet managers the most accurate and up-to-date information, which will reduce idling times, increase driver performance and ultimately reduce emissions.

The GPS fleet tracking solution’s technology reads vehicles’ engine and delivers emissions and idling reporting 60 times more often than traditional GPS systems. The information is sent to the cloud, giving fleet administrators real-time snapshots of vehicle health, fuel usage, carbon footprint and driver behavior.

With EPA fines ranging from approximately $52 to $32,000 in some states, fleet managers are scrambling to find solutions. Some of these solutions are costing up to three times more than our technology and delivering less-than-accurate reports. If idling is wrong, fleet manager’s carbon footprint calculations are wrong and drivers may be penalized unfairly.

Companies across the country are experiencing Azuga’s ability to address the unique needs of emission reduction for fleets with breakthrough pricing (70 cents per day/per vehicle), lifetime hardware warranties and no contracts.