RTM AEC News Roundup September 2015
Each month RTM explores the top news and headlines affecting architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) communities.
This month in the news: green building jobs are on the rise, new lighting and climate zone changes are proposed, Chicago continues to be a leader in sustainability, and there is an increase in nonresidential construction spending.
USGBC predicts Green Building Jobs to reach 3.3 million by 2018
Demand for green building shows no sign of slowing down as individuals, businesses and institutions continue to prioritize sustainable approaches to design, construction and operations of the built environment. According to the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, the green building sector is outpacing overall construction growth in the U.S. and will account for more than 2.3 million American jobs this year. By 2018, green construction is on pace to account for 3.3 million U.S. jobs—more than one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector—and generate $190.3 billion in labor earnings. Green buildings will continue to play a major role in the U.S. construction sector and the U.S. economy as a whole.
Lighting and Climate Zone Changes Proposed
Changes to lighting and climate zones are being proposed to the energy standard published by ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). A total of 23 addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, are open for public comment. Examples of addenda include a new set of interior lighting power density limits for both building area and space-by-space compliance paths and proposed criteria for a new Climate Zone 0, which is the hotter portion of the previous Climate Zone 1.
Chicago’s City Council Energy Benchmarking Update
Chicago’s new Building Energy Use Benchmarking ordinance stipulates that existing municipal, commercial and residential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet track whole-building energy use, report to the city annually, and verify data accuracy every three years. This regulation stemmed from former mayor Richard M. Daley (1989-2011) who set a goal for Chicago to become the greenest big city in the world. The new ordinance will help raise awareness of energy performance through information and transparency, with the goal of unlocking energy and cost saving opportunities for businesses and residents.
Associated Builders and Contractors Report a Rise in Nonresidential Construction Spending
Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. released its latest construction economic update, revealing nonresidential construction spending is on the rise. Spending increased by 0.5 percent in July to a total of $696.1 billion–the highest since March 2009. The outlook continues to trend positively.