Climate change is happening faster than anyone wants to believe. 2017 marked the second hottest year on record - 2016 being the hottest - and first time some scientific papers concluded that certain extreme weather events could not have occurred in a world where global warming did not exist. The studies suggested that the record-breaking global temperatures in 2016, an extreme heat wave in Asia and a patch of unusually warm water in the Alaskan Gulf were only possible because of human-caused climate change.
And buildings play a huge part in this. In fact, buildings are responsible for 32% of total global energy use and 19% of energy-related Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions – that’s more than any other industry. They also face multiple climate change impacts including more frequent strong winds, increased heat - particularly in cities (Urban Heat Island effect) - and the floods and wildfires that accompany extreme weather events. Buildings have already experienced big increases in damage over recent decades.
Yet buildings also offer near-term, highly cost-effective opportunities to curb energy-demand, and even reverse it in developed economies. A few developed countries have already reversed growth in total energy use by using stricter building codes and appliance standards. This is, fundamentally, why we do what we do at IES. We want to reduce the environmental impact that buildings have on our planet.
Our building simulation and energy modelling technology is used around the world to help achieve compliance with a lot of the more stringent energy related building codes and standards. And according to the American Institute of Architects “Quite simply, energy modelling presents the greatest opportunity for architects to realise more ambitious energy-saving in their design projects."