Climate change is not something that will happen in a far, distant future. Unbeknownst to many, the phenomenon is already having severe implications on the City of Boston, which is particularly vulnerable to its future impacts. We’ve seen multiple storms with near-record high tides flooding the Seaport as recently as the Winter of 2018.
So, what exactly have we been doing to combat these adverse effects?
One of the primary focuses is on building energy consumption, a major contributor to climate change emissions. In 2007, Boston set goals of reducing emissions 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050, relative to the baseline emissions from 2005. In an effort to meet those targets, Boston adopted both the Stretch Code and Article 37, which require energy savings relative to the American Society of Heating, and Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1. By 2014, the goal was elevated to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. In order for Boston to reach its ambitious 2050 goal, urban office buildings (new construction or major renovation) need to achieve a measured Energy Use Intensity (EUI) of around 25 Btu/sf-yr2.
To aid Boston in reaching its goal, my SMMA colleagues and I want to turn our sights towards an unlikely source – the prevalence of glass enclosures among newly constructed buildings. Let’s explore the myths and realities surrounding them to inspire the building community to prioritize performance, and to leverage the metric of EUI to define a new urban architecture that is both beautiful and responsible.
Bio: Elizabeth Galloway responsibilities include energy modeling, daylight modeling, research, and LEED project support. She collaborates with engineering, design, and commissioning teams to ensure a consistent, multidisciplinary approach that maximizes energy efficiency. She also acts as an internal consultant for the company, offering a big-picture perspective to inform sustainable design decision. Elizabeth received a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering—Atmosphere and Energy from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Massachusetts Amherst.