Architecture and Planning ETDs


Ronald Nelson

Publication Date



Architects, engineers, and builders have a unique opportunity to lead society and the economy through the current difficult times. Since studies show that buildings account for nearly half the nations energy consumption, our power derives from our ability to dramatically cut the energy consumption through energy efficient refurbishment of the vast existing building inventory and through energy efficient designs for new construction. This conservation has an amazing threefold benefit: through reduced consumption we extend the life of our limited natural resources; through reduced consumption we reduce our emission of greenhouse gases and thus reduce the threat of climate change; and through reduced consumption we save enough money to pay for refurbishment of existing buildings and energy efficiency enhancements built into new designs. The combination of inertia and barriers in the marketplace has stalled attempts to harvest these economic rewards from the last benefit. Now the urgency of limited resources and greenhouse gas emissions compels architects, engineers, and builders to advocate for informed policy that nurtures or mandates energy efficiency in buildings. In particular, now is the time for the adoption of a national building energy labeling scheme to replace the jumble of approaches currently in place and to ensure nationwide coverage. This thesis establishes that building energy labeling can promote greater energy efficiency in an economically attractive manner and identifies how architects, engineers, and builders can lead the charge toward energy security and economic stability.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dent, Stephen

Second Committee Member

Wildin, Maurice

Third Committee Member

Iyengar, Kuppusamy


building, energy, labeling, commercial

Included in

Architecture Commons