Monday, October 2, 2023

A new approach to quantifying the health and climate benefits of reducing energy consumption in buildings

Researchers at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston University, and Oregon State University have developed a new method to quantify the health and climate benefits of reducing energy consumption in buildings. This new methodology, part of the “Joint Benefits of the Built Environment” (CoBE) project, allows these benefits to be evaluated at the regional, municipal or individual building level.

Traditionally, the focus has been on reducing carbon emissions when talking about energy efficiency in buildings, but this new approach adds a health component to the conversation. Using this methodology, building owners, operators and investors can project the combined climate and health benefits of their energy decisions up to 2050.

The CoBE tool, available on the project’s website, allows users to enter key information about a particular building, such as location, size, energy source and energy consumption. Using various models and data sets, the tool calculates the building’s energy and emissions footprint, as well as the associated climate and health impacts in monetary values. It also allows users to estimate the combined benefits under different energy use scenarios.

The tool uses projections from the US Energy Information Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to calculate emissions reductions from energy savings. To quantify climate impacts in monetary terms, use the “Social Cost of Carbon” tool developed by the US government’s Interagency Working Group. Regarding health effects, the tool estimates premature deaths due to exposure to fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5), as well as associated health costs.

To demonstrate the usefulness of the CoBE tool, the researchers conducted a case study that modeled the impact of reducing the electricity consumption of buildings in the United States from 2018 to 2050. They found that the location of a building has a significant role in determining health and climate impact of energy reduction. The study also revealed the potential joint health and climate benefits of electricity storage.

This new methodology and tool provides decision makers and stakeholders with an easy way to assess current building performance and quantify the combined health and climate benefits of different scenarios of energy conservation. By optimizing energy efficiency measures, we can contribute to improving the health and well-being of people and the planet.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news