Stripping away efficiency
It turns out humans can undo the savings of green buildings.
to create the most Earth-friendly, energy-efficient buildings possible,
architects and engineers have stumbled on a problem they hadn't fully
A story in OregonLive.com 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.