SOME BUILDING SCIENCE
In December of 2015, more than 170 countries met in Paris and agreed to plans totaling billions of dollars to hold global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Scientific data suggests that global temperature increase of more than 2 degrees could lead to catastrophic—and wildly unpredictable—changes in day-to-day weather and long-term weather patterns, as well as higher sea levels.
Energy conservation is one of the first, most important steps we can take to mitigate or avoid these climate changes. This is because the buildings in which we live and work can have a tremendous impact on energy consumption. Harnessing the latest technologies and combining them with established building and rehabilitation practices can drastically reduce not only the energy consumption of almost any structure but its overall environmental impact as well.
U.S. ENERGY CONSUMPTION
Buildings consume 48% of all energy consumed in the United States.
Buildings produce 46.9% of all CO2 in the United States.
U.S. CO2 EMISSIONS BY SECTOR
source: architecture 2030; data source: U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION (2009)
To date, only 10% of buildings get their energy from renewable sources.
BUILDING SECTOR ENERGY CONSUMPTION BY FUEL TYPE
source: architecture 2030; data source: U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION (2012)
A SHELL OIL study shows a future that must be heavily reliant on energy conservation
WORLD ENERGY RESOURCES AND CONSUMPTION
This informs the way dwellstead plans and executes rehabilitation projects: building acquisition, design, sourcing of materials, and construction are considered with regard to their energy usage and environmental impact.
Existing buildings are the greenest buildings, because of their "embodied energy" the energy that was already put into harvesting materials, transporting them, and constructing the building. This is energy that needs to be preserved.
Communities, of course, embody energy too. That's why dwellstead targets established communities that are on the upswing and that can more greatly benefit from dwellstead's approach to home renovation.
Each building that dwellstead acquires presents unique challenges: its condition, siting, budget and the market govern the decisions that will impact its energy performance. dwellstead makes every effort to make our homes at a minimum exceed U.S. Dept of Energy Challenge Home standards.
At dwellstead, we avoid, wherever feasible, the use of materials that are petrochemically-based.
A dwellstead home will strive to:
have an abundance of natural ventilation
provide advantageous use of natural daylight
engage in the adaptive re-use of materials previously harvested, manufactured, possibly discarded and re-discovered
harness the power of the sun to provide heat in the winter, and to facilitate cooling in the summer
be free from commonly found toxins in current-day building materials
use low-energy systems to refresh and re-invigorate interior air quality
provide thoughtful modern lighting that blends with daylight to insure constant and pleasant interior illumination.
A dwellstead home strives to anchor itself in communities that are or have the potential to be walkable. Walkable communities:
have smaller carbon footprints
improve health and well being
have a strong neighborhood feel