The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been issuing reports for many years on the potential short and long term impact of climate change. Each year the report becomes more frightening. The loud and clear message from the Special Report Global Warming of 1.5ºC issued yesterday is; if we are going limit the earth’s temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, we need to act now!
Debra Roberts, a co-chair of the working group on impacts, said; “It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now... This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilises people and dents the mood of complacency.”
In response, Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at UKGBC said; "This report from the IPCC is a wake-up call for governments and businesses across the globe. The construction and property industry in the UK is an economic juggernaut, and our buildings account for approximately 30% of carbon emissions. It is also the industry with the most cost-effective means of reducing carbon emissions so it will be a vital catalyst for change in the wider economy."
So what can we do in the construction industry to make a difference? The wake-up call is for each and every one of us to make changes in both our daily and working lives.
If we dig deep we all know there is more we can be doing. We are well aware of the impact buildings and cities have on the environment. And we all know the issues and barriers that prevent us as an industry from fully implementing the change that is required to significantly reduce that impact. The industry is fragmented, bids are made based on lowest cost with little consideration for energy reduction, and we’re slow to pick up and embed new energy efficiency technologies into our workflows in a way they can have the biggest impact.
Knowing that our industry is the biggest contributor to climate change means that we also have the potential to combat it. We can make a huge difference.
The IPCC are saying that there is no more time to waste. We can’t wait for governments and regulatory authorities to make decisions. We must all act now. I’m asking you to dig deeper, challenge yourself, have the courage to take that idea forward, inspire more people to act, and push for change within your organisation, family, group of friends. Don’t just think about it, take action. #pushforchange
Here at IES we know that the technology to significantly reduce the impact that buildings and cities have on the environment is available. We’ve discovered 12% energy savings for an existing net-zero energy building in the tropics and developed a prototype community interaction model which enables real-time visualisation of energy data within a low-energy community in Nottingham. A model which includes information on renewable energy generation and storage, alongside energy consumption data, and general information about the homes. This alongside other technological advances, has the potential to revolutionise how we manage, interact and operate the buildings in our local communities, especially as local energy generation becomes the norm not the exception.
However, this technology isn’t being utilised to its full potential.
Buildings have changed much over recent years, but the way we design, handover and operate them hasn’t. The industry needs to shake off its ‘slow to change’ malaise and catch up with other industries in their use of digital technology and data. So, why are our buildings not as smart as our cars?
IES and our users have already made a significant impact on reducing the built environments carbon footprint. And these numbers are continually rising as more and more building professionals understand the social, environmental and economic benefits of using integrated building performance analysis tools.
We should be proud of what we've achieved so far. But now the call to action is clear. We need to do more. And together we know we can do more. IES have got the technology, you've got the skills – let’s #pushforchange and make a significant impact.
Notes to Editor:
The observations that IES was founded on over 24 year’s ago were that:
- Buildings are major consumers of energy and must be made more efficient to cut CO2 emissions, conserve fossil fuels and preserve the environment for future generations.
- Buildings were generally designed on experience and simplistic performance calculations even though performance-based building simulation had been proven to achieve buildings that consume significantly less energy.
- At that time building performance tools were too complex and remained in the hands of academics, making little impact on mainstream commercial design.
Since then IES has been successful in creating our Virtual Environment suite which is now the most respected performance simulation software in the world. Our technology helps tens of thousands of industry professionals create sustainable buildings and intelligent cities and communities that consume significantly less energy.
IES was founded by Dr Don Mclean our current Managing Director on 10th June 1994.
We have been advocating the need to take action against climate change for a long time now. One of our most recent campaigns being the Power Station Challenge, where we identified that through use of our software, we have prevented 26 Power Stations from having to be built. Now at just over 29, our real-time counter continues to let us know how much energy we are saving. http://www.iesve.com/power-station-challenge