The United States has numerous buildings in each state that house businesses and large enterprises. However, the country's great economy is being paid at a certain price, as 40% of the energy generated in the U.S. is recorded to be consumed by the collective buildings of the country alone.
To prevent excessive energy consumption and effectively reduce the harmful emissions from their heating and cooling systems, the buildings must be equipped with methods that would lead to energy efficiency. According to a new study, steps toward energy-efficient buildings could also prevent the annual rates of premature death.
Energy-Efficient Buildings Could Save Lives
Yale School of the Environment Economics expert and author of the study Kenneth Gillingham and researchers from Yale's School of Engineering and Applied Science have conducted a collaborative study to develop a new approach to building efficiency improvement.
Based on a Health Thoroughfare report, the research included a number of attributes under the correct efficiency targeted by the team, including the preventive measures these improvements could possibly contribute to preventing the rate of premature deaths in the U.S.
Climate change includes several factors that are undoubtedly harmful to humans. Greenhouse gasses and fossil fuel burning emissions are among the greatest compositions that accumulate infliction to our environment. This collection of harmful materials are also responsible for producing an airborne particle, also known as the PM 2.5, that could produce a large amount of damage.
PM 2.5 are toxic particulate matters that span up to 2.5 micrometers in diameter. Due to their size and chemical composition, PM 2.5 is proven to weaken and destroy some organs of our bodies. The potentials of these particulate matters could set up severe lung and heart disease.
In addition, PM 2.5 could also enhance underlying respiratory conditions of an individual, such as asthma. On the other hand, according to the investigation, reductions of PM 2.5 can eventually decrease the premature death rate in the U.S.
Buildings with Energy Efficiency Could Prevent Over 5,000 Deaths Every Year
The year 2050 is the deadline for us to improve efficiency on building structures, according to the authors of the study. If the appliances inside the towering architectures could be used with 50% efficiency combined with the buildings themselves with 60%-90% efficiency, the year 2050 could set a fresh start.
Reaching the deadline with the corresponding efficiency requirements could 'optimistically' prevent over 5,100 premature deaths every year. The authors said that even if these milestones are reduced to an 'intermediate' scenario, we could still end up with at least 2,900 lives saved annually prior to 2050.
Yale's environmental expert and co-author of the study Drew Gentner said that the building efficiency's projected outcomes target outdoor air pollution.
He added that there are still issues with regard to the indoor air quality that should be resolved in most of the building's interior and ventilation systems. With that said, buildings with intensified sealing methods for preventing leakage outdoors are the possible drawback of indoor building efficiency.
Gentner said that additional attention is required for indoor pollutant emissions since this will be the most crucial problem as we focus on improving the indoor efficiency of buildings. The investigation was published in the journal Science Advances, titled "The Climate and Health Benefits From Intensive Building Energy Efficiency Improvements."
Check out more news and information on Climate Change in Science Times.