The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Research Committee announced its National Green Building Research Agenda at the late-2007 Greenbuild International
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Research Committee announced its National Green Building Research Agenda at the late-2007 Greenbuild International Conference & Expo in Chicago. The agenda identifies key research areas for advancing building performance and market transformation, and explains the scale of funding and capacity-building that is needed to support all steps from research through deployment.
This agenda is a call to action for the entire industry, said USGBC President and CEO Rick Fedrizzi. In keeping with our goal to be both a resource for existing knowledge and a driver of relevant research, USGBC has created this document to illustrate the breadth of critically needed research to transition to a sustainable built environment.
Research on green building constituted only about 0.2 percent of all federally-funded research between 2002 and 2004-an average of $193 million per year, the council reports. In contrast, building operation accounts for 39 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions and nearly 40 percent of energy consumption.
The National Green Building Research Agenda challenges government, foundation, industrial, academic and other sectors to devote the resources commensurate with the scale of the environmental, economic and social opportunities we face as a planet, said USGBC Research Committee Chair, Gail Brager, University of California at Berkeley. The agenda focuses on the applied research most needed by green building practitioners in the design, engineering, construction and development communities, she adds.
Ultimate objectives of green buildings and the research, council staff notes, include: stable, sustainable energy supplies and climate conditions; clean, renewable and sufficient water resources; restorative use of land for the long term sustainability of habitats; restorative use of materials and assemblies that reflect life-cycle impacts; and a built environment that enhances human safety, security, health and productivity.
Last June, USGBC announced that it will commit $1 million to green building research. The application period for research funds will start with a request for proposals early this year, and will target matching funds for short-term applied research that has relevance to agenda research topics; USGBC’s market transformation efforts; and, (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED rating technical development.