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Problems of Buildings

Buildings make up 40% of carbon emissions, in operation and construction, according to architecture2030.org. We spend most of our time indoors, as buildings are the fundamental roots of our shared (or private) wealth, health, culture, economy, transit, security and future.

$100 Billion in energy is wasted every year in building operations, according to the US Secretary of Energy. Building-scale, place-specific data is difficult to find, scattered and hidden amongst different agencies, utilities, systems and controlled gates—while cities use outdated values for zoning and economic value—discounting design quality, embodied carbon, walkability, indoor health, reuse, and other humanistic design values. Meanwhile the Governor of New York is using outdated planning techniques from the 1950s, haphazardly tearing down districts instead of a more surgical development approach.

A decentralized Building Profile Utility could begin the hard work of retrofitting our buildings, and communities, for the future. As the architect Richard Neutra once asked about 100 years ago: “Valid scales and gauges for judging design can be found and must be applied. To deny it would seem nihilistic.” The status quo — aging building stock, expensive retrofits, energy issues, affordability problems — is not good.

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