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Building´s energy performance is a matter of safety

Skyscraper facade illuminated by the sun
North America

Building´s energy performance is a matter of safety

Energy efficient buildings should protect us in case of heat waves and climate change. The building envelope is crucial for this, although it lacks life-safety evaluations.
Editorial Team

NASA reports that June 2023 was the hottest ever recorded, and the year is set to break annual temperature records. Poverty exacerbates the problem, as low-income communities lack proper housing and air conditioning, facing disproportionate risks.

Building envelope performance plays a pivotal role in maintaining survivable environments during extreme heat and cold, needing high-performance fenestration. Despite this, energy-efficient fenestration regulations remain limited in US model codes, raising questions about priorities compared to other building regulations. Unfortunately, envelope energy performance is not currently viewed under a life-safety lens, although it should be at least for single- and multi-family residential buildings, dormitories, healthcare buildings and schools.

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Helen Sanders
Policy and Regulatory Frameworks
Energy efficiency technologies and solutions
Indoor Environmental Quality