Building(s) for the Future
Climate smart buildings in every phase of the process: planning, construction, operation, and the transition to their next life.
Buildings are a huge piece of the climate solutions puzzle and Missoula is increasingly looking to connect pieces
They are increasingly important as pressures mount for development to keep pace with community growth. They also feature prominently in our 2015 Community Climate Smart Action Plan, 100% Clean Electricity Resolution, Climate Ready Missoula, and Zero by Fifty plans.
First, watch our 2 minute video of what it means to Build for the Future!
Then check out our findings. There's a lot here!
Thankfully, we're not in this alone, and there is much to learn from communities across the country and world that are reducing the carbon emissions associated with their buildings. Sometimes we think of it in terms of a food metaphor - rather than needing to create a brand new dish, there is already a full menu and Missoula needs to decide what we want to order. The tools we choose to build for the future will need to be community decisions where we decide what type of approach we think will work best and what we are willing to do to achieve lower carbon emissions in our building sector. Click on the table to read more about the tools Missoula is considering, or explore the accordion for the full background briefs distributed to summit participants.
Thinking beyond carbon emissions
Energy efficient building is also often healthy building, leading to decreased rates of asthma and other respiratory issues for inhabitants. For example, a recent study by E4TheFuture found 12% fewer asthma ED visits and a 48% decline in poor health among adults in households receiving weatherization services. The study also showed improvements in occupants heath are strongest among vulnerable groups: lower income households and residents with preexisting medical conditions. Check out the full study here.
increased climate resiliency
Summers are becoming warmer with bringing more intense wildfire smoke. Missoula needs to adapt our buildings to enhance insulation and ventilation in anticipation of more extreme wildfire seasons and hot temperatures. Additionally, we can make smart decisions regarding the siting of buildings and the usage of green or white roofs to decrease our reliance on air conditioning.
increased comfort and satisfaction
More efficient buildings lead to more comfortable and satisfied inhabitants. Building(s) for the Future can eliminate rooms that are either too hot or too cold by improving insulation and ventilation to allow for temperatures to remain consistent throughout the building. Furthermore, the services help mitigate or eliminate drafts in the building which can be annoying and uncomfortable.
reduced operating costs (and vulnerability to energy price fluctuations)
More efficient buildings cost less money to operate, and a reduced demand for fossil fuel generated energy leaves building owners less exposed to price volatility.
For more on the relationship between energy efficiency and energy price fluctuation, read this report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy - ACEEE.
Thank you to our Task Force!
This B(s)4F effort is in collaboration with the City of Missoula, Missoula County, and a team of architects, designers, engineers, and non-profit partners who are part of our super valuable Task Force.
In addition to the partners above, we have support for this work via the National League of Cities. Thanks to a proposal we spearheaded, Missoula is one of 8 US communities awarded a Leadership in Community Resilience 2020 grant -- to support Building(s) for the Future.