GLRPPR Sector Resource: Driving to Green Buildings: The Transportation Energy Intensity of Buildings
Driving to Green Buildings: The Transportation Energy Intensity of Buildings
The energy employees typically use to travel to and from an average office building during a given time period--its transportation energy intensity--can be a third to twice the energy used to run the building during the same time period. Hence attention to the total ecological footprint of a building must consider more than just the energy efficiency of the building. This September 2007 article from BuildingGreen, Inc.:
- Identifies eight factors - largely controlled by planners, designers, developers and regulators - that dramatically affect the transportation energy intensity of buildings. Among them are the "D-factors:" Density, Distance to transit, Diversity of uses, and Design of streetscapes.
- Examines strategies for lowering transportation energy intensity through changes in locating buildings and adjacent land uses.
- Discusses how to develop and calculate a building performance metric that specifies the transportation efficiency of a building.
Measures to reduce transportation energy use can also have significant additional benefits relating to water runoff, urban heat island mitigation and habitat protection, while creating more vibrant, livable communities. The article also links to an annotated checklist of strategies for achieving transportation-efficient communities that includes: Support transit-oriented development (TOD); Encourage mixed use; Encourage alternative means of transportation; Increase density; Eliminate parking minimums; Change height and floor area ratio (FAR) limits; and Change public and private incentives. Written by Alex Wilson with Rachel Navaro.
Building Green, August 2007
Date of Publication:
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