Washington DC Took The Second Place In Green Building
March 25, 2010 Leave a comment
by Elias Shams
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its second annual ranking of U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest number of buildings receiving the Energy Star label in 2009. Washington DC took the second place with 204 Energy Star buildings while Los Angeles became first with 293 buildings, and San Francisco, which has about 20 percent of the population of Los Angeles, came in third with 173 buildings.
Hmmm…. Los Angeles– number one on the list– has a poor public transportation system. I expect that DC, number two or NY, number ten, scores vastly better in terms of energy wasted by people driving cars, but this isn’t captured in the listings. I’m also not sure in what way LA, where heating bills are almost nothing, is compared to Washington DC. A small improvement in the insulation of a building in DC will save much more energy than the same improvement in LA.
Interestingly, Detroit ranks ahead of cities like Austin “with a decidedly greener reputation”
Energy Star indicates that a building’s energy performance is in the top 25% of buildings nationwide compared to similar buildings. Several types of buildings — schools, hospitals, offices, retail stores, supermarkets, etc — can receive the label.
From the chart, it looks like the number of buildings qualifying for the Energy Star award have jumped about 30 to 40 percent from 2008, when the E.P.A. first issued the ranking.
Collectively, the 3,900 buildings that won Energy Star ratings in 2009 cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 4.7 million metric tons, saving some $900 million in energy costs, according to the E.P.A.
One last note, not quite sure whether sq. footage is the right way to measure the amount of building efficiency, as buildings with a smaller square footage that serve the same purpose (i.e. just as many people live or work there) are more efficient.