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on 22-Apr-10 02:23.
Did you know that you may be eligible for a substantial tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for improving the energy efficiency of your building or designing energy efficiency into your new building? If you're already thinking of a retrofit project, this can significantly improve your Return on Investment. If not, act quickly because this benefit is set to expire at the end of the year.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 includes a tax deduction for investments in "energy-efficient commercial building property" designed to significantly reduce the heating, cooling, water heating, and interior lighting energy cost of new or existing commercial buildings. To be eligible, the energy-efficient commercial building property must be placed in service between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008. Warehouse and industrial facility owners can now reduce the payback period of investing in energy-efficient retrofit projects or new components with the added benefit of deducting up to the entire expense of these costs immediately instead of depreciating them over 39 years.
on 22-Apr-10 00:49.
Boosted in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will provide significant funding for renovations to federal building, the total potential market for major green renovations in the commercial building sector is approximately $400 billion, according to a new study by Pike Research. Although currently a relatively small market, the market researcher forecasts that comprehensive efficiency retrofits will more than triple in annual revenue to $6.6 billion by 2013.
The market researcher says the total U.S. commercial building market, with 70-billion square-feet of space, delivers one of the largest opportunities for energy savings, reduction of carbon emissions and increased property values.
While direct energy savings can be significant with green retrofits, the study, "Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Commercial and Public Buildings", indicates that most major projects will not be driven by cost savings, but instead will be initiated to meet broader policy and business objectives such as lower carbon footprints, higher employee productivity, and higher property values.
on 22-Apr-10 00:41.
The dearth of good, cheap, undeveloped sites in suburban markets, the escalating number of vacant greyfield properties, and the expansion of mass transit systems into suburban areas are all factoring into a changed American suburban market.
The recession has brought the 50-year expansion of suburban development patterns to a halt. It also is accelerating the trend to retrofit, reinhabit, and "regreen" the rising numbers of dead malls, dying office parks, and other declining suburban properties. While no one likes to see businesses fail, redevelopment of these sites to respond to new suburban demographics, rising transportation costs, and infrastructure investments provides the opportunity to transform the most automobiledependent landscapes into more sustainable, more urban places. The big development project for the next 50 years likely will be retrofitting suburbia.
Some of the changes will be incremental-a change of use here, a new street or building there, much as one sees in the "incremental urbanism" that characterizes the perception of how the world's great cities evolved over time. However, American suburban development patterns are so highly specialized for single uses that their layouts are resistant to incremental adaptation. Consequently, the most effective redevelopments will be those that retrofit the streets, blocks, and lots to provide a compact, connected, walkable mix of uses and housing types. Unfortunately, projects at this scale often evoke criticism as "instant cities" or "faux urbanism." The challenge for all involved is to provide settings and buildings that transcend their "instant" status and inspire their communities.
on 22-Apr-10 00:38.
America is the largest consumer of energy in the world. The majority of this energy is derived from dirty, polluting sources such as coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power. Our consumption of these fuels exacerbates global warming, keeps us dependent upon oil and other fossil fuels, and undermines our economy.
40 percent of America's energy-ten percent of all the energy used in the world-goes towards powering our buildings. Much of this energy is simply wasted through poor insulation, leaky windows, inefficient lighting, heating or cooling systems, and poor construction techniques.
If we stay on our current unsustainable path, the energy we use in buildings will:
Grow by 6.61 quadrillion British Thermal Units (BTUs) between 2010 and 2030-a 16 percent increase, or as much energy as is used to power 86 million homes for 2 years;
Account for 43 percent of total U.S. energy consumption by 2030, making us even more dependent on imported and polluting fossil fuels; and
Have increased emissions of carbon dioxide by 323.95 million metric tons, roughly equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 80 coal-fired power plants.
For us to make meaningful progress in reducing our energy consumption and our nation's global warming emissions, we must use far less energy in our buildings.
on 22-Apr-10 00:37.
Philadelphia, PA - A comprehensive plan to make our nation's buildings more efficient could save enough energy by 2030 to power all of the nation's cars, homes and businesses for a year and a half, while saving Americans more than $500 billion, according to a new report by PennEnvironment. These findings offer a preview of what Pennsylvania could achieve by adopting green building policies, such as the statewide green building code proposed by Governor Rendell in February, and the many policies being pushed by state and local officials who joined PennEnvironment in releasing the report.
"Green buildings are a triple win for Pennsylvania, saving us money on energy bills, cutting global warming pollution, and helping to secure our energy future," said Nathan Willcox, Energy & Clean Air Advocate for PennEnvironment. "We have the technologies to realize these benefits, and now we need the policies to put these solutions to work."
Nearly half of America's energy-and 10 percent of the energy used in the world-goes towards powering our buildings, and much of that energy is wasted. And buildings account for 40 percent of total U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, a major contributor to global warming. But PennEnvironment's new report, Building a Better Future: Moving Toward Zero Pollution With Highly Efficient Homes and Businesses, found that by renovating old buildings, and ensuring new buildings use 50 percent less energy within ten years and are "zero energy" by 2030, we can cut U.S. global warming emissions at least 34 percent by 2050. The report also outlines policy steps that local, state and federal officials can take to promote green buildings and make these benefits a reality.
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