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By Jana M. Kemp, Ken Baker

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This new architecture is a practice in human responsive design. BEYOND ENVIRONMENT—THE GOLDEN AGE OF ENERGY Buildings and Energy In his 1982 book, The Next Economy,4 Paul Hawken notes that the availability of electricity in the early 1900s gave each North American access to a lifestyle that previously would have required 100 servants. By the 1940s the availability of cheap power, rural electrification, and a war-driven economy expanded the type of work and processes that could be performed in buildings.

16 cents a kilowatt hour (1000 watt hours)—just over a five percent increase in twelve years. That is less than half a penny of an increase on average across the United States. 5 to 100 billion dollars—an increase of over 38 percent. For the most part, the utility companies were not making profits from large markups on the commodity but from the increase in use, that is more buildings using greater amounts of energy. For a building owner, there is hardly incentive to invest in efficiency when returns are so low.

Colder climate buildings do directly use fossil fuels such as natural gas for heating, but by and far a commercial building’s largest load is electric in nature. Second, though commercial buildings use mainly electricity, the bulk of this electrical power—68 percent in the United States—is generated through burning fossil fuels. S. Energy Information Administration emissions generated from energy consumption for electricity production in 2004 was 2,444,443 thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide, 10,307 thousand metric tons of sulfur dioxide, and 3,951 thousand metric tons of nitrogen oxides.

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