Events marking this year’s High Performance Building (HPB) Week (May 19-23), include a tour of a super energy efficient “Passive House” under construction and a briefing by the National Institute of Building Sciences about its annual report on the building sector and related policy recommendations. Full event details can be found at hpbccc.org.
The High Performance Building Congressional Caucus Coalition (HPBCCC) is hosting HPB Week on behalf of the HPB Caucus of the U.S. Congress, which was created to inform fellow policymakers about the impact buildings have on our health, safety, and welfare and opportunities to address these issues through public policies. Events this week will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the National Institute of Building Sciences and with the International Code Council’s (ICC) Building Safety Month. This year’s theme, “Building Safety: Maximizing Resilience, Minimizing Risks,” will raise awareness about fire safety, disaster safety and mitigation, backyard and pool safety, and the resiliency aspects of sustainable energy and high performance buildings. Additional Building Safety Month information can be found at ICC Building Safety Month.
HPB Week events will call attention to best practices in building design and the role of government in advancing better buildings. The Energy Independence and Security (EISA) Act of 2007 defines a high-performance building as a building that “integrates and optimizes on a life cycle basis all major high performance attributes, including energy conservation, environment, safety, security, durability, accessibility, cost-benefit, productivity, sustainability, functionality, and operational considerations.”
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that homes, offices, schools, and other buildings consume 70 percent of electricity in the United States annually. In addition, the construction of buildings and their related infrastructure consume about 60 percent of all raw materials used in the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Buildings account for nearly 40 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions per year, which is approximately equal to the combined carbon emissions of Japan, France, and the United Kingdom.
EESI is a member of the HPBCCC in addition to building-industry organizations such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the International Facility Management Association (IFMA). For more information about high-performance buildings, please contact EESI’s Ellen Vaughan and visit hpbccc.org.