Smart growth. Sustainable cities. These terms get tossed around a lot. And, typically, they are used in reference to new buildings and new communities. What about our existing buildings and our aging cities?
Living City Block is taking aim at this question. By combining urban revitalization with a focus on energy-efficiency retrofits and cutting-edge renewable technology, they are trying to set an adoptable standard for urban sustainability.
Raising the bar
Typical building renovations increase energy efficiency by 10 percent. Pretty marginal. If you consider the fact that 80% of the existing buildings in the U.S. will still be in operation 50 years from now, that’s not exactly pushing the envelope to a sustainable future.
What if you could cut the energy consumption of an entire community by half? Even better, what if that community could produce more energy than it consumes?