With buildings being the largest energy consumption group in the U.S., key leaders of the building design industry have established a goal of "zero net energy" buildings by the year 2030. The 2030 Challenge resolution calls for an immediate 50% reduction in fossil fuel energy consumption in new and renovated buildings, and it seeks to eliminate fossil fuels from new construction. In other words, within 25 years, cities that manage to meet the 2030 Challenge will not use oil, natural gas, or coal in the heating, cooling, lighting, or construction of new buildings.
Right now we have a real opportunity to transform our economy from one running on fossil fuels to one largely based on clean energy. In the next twenty years the anticipated increase of energy consumption in the U.S. is projected to increase by 37%, while greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase by 36%. The 2030 Challenge seeks to help reverse this trend by setting a goal of carbon neutrality by the year 2030. This will will be done incrementally by reducing fossil fuel usage in buildings by 60% in 2010, 70% in 2015, 80% in 2020, 90% in 2025 and 100% in 2030.
Buildings built with IBC SIPs are built for this new era of building. The building owner benefits first from a stronger building (a whole system instead of parts), from increased climate control that can result in a smaller HVAC requirements, and third, long term energy efficiencies that continue to deliver savings. Energy efficiency incentive add cost savings. Reduced labor costs add cost savings, a SIP built house can be erected in approximately 5 days. And reduced construction time also reduces construction financing carrying costs.
SIPs are an advanced building technique using prefabricated insulated components for walls, roofs and floors. They consist of two outer skins of oriented strand board (OSB) and an inner core of insulating expanded polystyrene laminated together to form a versatile building panel that maximizes energy efficiency. SIPs have actually been around since the 1930's, nothing new, but technologies continue to improve and the green building movement is finally recognizing the benefits of controlling air infiltration, coupled with increased structural strength. Fitting into the new building codes and point systems is ramping up new construction with SIPs.
For more on how IBC SIPs are the ideal solution to meet the 2030 challenge, read our "Green" story.