Stripping away efficiency

It turns out humans can undo the savings of green buildings.



In trying

to create the most Earth-friendly, energy-efficient buildings possible,

architects and engineers have stumbled on a problem they hadn't fully

understood: You.

A story in discusses your desktop computer that's on, even when you're out to lunch. The

power-hogging photo copier in your office and its incessant red light. And then

there's the space heater under your desk, keeping you warm because the building

is too cold.

Designers have found ways to make cooling and heating systems more efficient

than ever, mainly by using cutting-edge technology and old-school techniques

such as natural ventilation. But some of the greenest buildings in the world

are undermined by human behavior and the traditions of engineers who design

structures, build them and leave them for fallible humans to figure out later.

To make buildings truly sustainable, engineers say they need to sit down

with the people who will live and work in their projects.


Read the

full story. 

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