Have builders learned nothing in the last 20 years?

… Asks the Scientific American as it poses the point that, with so many different people involved in designing and building a new property, it’s no wonder today’s buildings are no more energy efficient than they were 20 years ago.

True, new buildings might be using more efficient, energy frugal air conditioning systems or feature the latest energy efficient glazing, but overall, buildings, and their owners, are not reaping the benefits.

A worrying trend.

It’s an interesting piece and one wonders if the same thing might not be happening globally? On a smaller scale, when my brother-in-law built his own house a few years ago and I ‘barrowed’ for him, planning required the latest thermal brick for interior walls, including the inner cavity, floor insulation and cavity wall packing insulation sheets.

As has been discussed here before, all the energy efficiency in the world is for little if we don’t change our habits – turning down the thermostat by an extra degree etc. It’s already been shown in UK studies that homeowners who’ve replaced windows with a-rated double glazing rarely make the hoped for energy saving as they simply don’t change their habits.

Peeling off jumpers and extra layers of clothing rather than reducing thermostat settings which would see them recoup their investment in energy savings and lower energy bills etc.

photo credit: horia varlan

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