Commercial Construction – Efficiency in Business Starts with Energy-Efficient Buildings

Every Dollar Saved is a Dollar Earned as they say. Indeed, it would be hard for any CFO or Accountant to dismiss this notion. Therefore, every increase in efficiency in a business that saves money, is like money in the bank. The Department of Energy, the construction industry and America’s corporate manufacturers are looking for ways to save energy, reduce pollution and keep more of what they make. By doing this it gives an edge to the manufacturing sector so they can compete with foreign competition, while reducing energy costs and pollution.

It is a WIN-WIN for everyone and all the parties involved are doing everything they can to increase productivity workflow, streamline the manufacturing process and reduce costs using advanced clean and green technologies to do just that. In fact, if you think about it, this is exactly what the residential home builders are doing in order to stay in business. They know energy efficient homes are more desirable to the few new-home homebuyers currently in the market. It is a matter of cost control and high-tech innovations that is needed to compete. I believe this recent DOE-Department of Energy press-release speaks to this realization:

Energy Star Commercial Buildings and Plants on the RiseWhile green and efficient homes are drawing considerable interest in the building industry, the number of energy-efficient commercial buildings and manufacturing plants is also growing, with a 25% increase last year in the number of such buildings earning the Energy Star.

In 2007 alone, more than 1,400 commercial buildings and plants earned the Energy Star label, bringing the total to nearly 4,100, with Energy Star buildings located in every state, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Energy Star is a joint program of DOE and the EPA, and commercial buildings that have earned the Energy Star use nearly 40% less energy than average buildings, producing 35% lower carbon dioxide emissions. About 500 of the Energy Star buildings use 50% less energy than average buildings. Energy use in commercial buildings and manufacturing plants accounts for nearly 50% of energy consumption nationwide.

The Energy Star buildings include about 1,500 office buildings, 1,300 supermarkets, 820 K-12 schools, and 250 hotels. In addition, more than 185 banks, financial centers, hospitals, courthouses, warehouses, dormitories, and big-box retail buildings have also earned the Energy Star.

More than 35 plants that are manufacturing automobiles, cement, and ethanol have also earned the Energy Star, including for the first time three petroleum refineries in Louisiana and one each in Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, and Texas. In total, these award-winning commercial buildings and manufacturing plants have saved nearly $1.5 billion annually in energy while avoiding 25 billion pounds in carbon dioxide emissions.

What this is telling the American People is the more efficient homes are indeed, on their way. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone lived in an efficient eco-home? Well, that is the DOE, EPA and National Homebuilder’s Associations plan and what a plan indeed. Think on this. Not long ago our Online Think Tank also took a look at ways to modernize manufacturing facilities and give them an energy savings boost. We must consider ways to improve commercial construction and the manufacturing processes inside.

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