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Ian Manire
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I wonder how longevity, aka loveability or cultural sustainability, plays into the returns on energy investment equation. One way of effectively reducing demand is to reduce demand for the merely new, in favor of the good. That doesn't work with power, obviously; but for the material investment and the energy required toward material uses, surely there's a point past which it's "all profit," as it were. And that's surely where preservation and traditional new design comes into play--people might not tear down and rebuild for novelty's sake (or more ironically, to build a new "green" building in its place) that which they actually value culturally--which lets the material value of a building really pay off. Those buildings are also in a better position to continue functioning in a reduced- or post-HVAC-obsessed world. With real wall mass, reasonable openings-to-wall ratios, high ceilings, operable windows and transoms, etc., they will be more comfortable than the hermetically sealed, totally AC-dependent post-War buildings, when the real costs of energy resources start to really be considered. Excellent post, with a lot to consider.
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Dec 21, 2010