Monday, May 23, 2022

Play

Pennsylvania tries to land a regional hydrogen hub, a new study confirms college grads are twice as likely to get good jobs, and a U.S. military plane flies 35 tons of baby formula from Germany to Indianapolis.

Play

Operation Fly Formula's first shipment arrives, worries of global food shortages grow, President Biden is concerned about a monkeypox outbreak, and a poll says Americans support the Title 42 border policy.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Office Buildings Impact Emissions Too; MN Wants to Address That

Play

Thursday, December 16, 2021   

MINNEAPOLIS -- Industrial settings and crowded highways are often associated with calls to reduce harmful carbon emissions, but what about a typical commercial building?

In Minnesota, there is a legislative push to enhance standards for new construction. Various levels of government, utilities and even some corporations have made pledges to achieve net-zero emissions in the coming years.

Some clean energy advocates say to get there, commercial buildings, such as skyscrapers and strip malls, need to do their part.

Rick Carter, CEO of Minnesota-based LHB Corporation, which designs buildings with sustainability in mind, feels a stronger code for new development is key.

"When our engineers and architects are working on a problem, whether it's a renovation or a new building, they're dealing with 40% of the total greenhouse-gas emissions in Minnesota," Carter explained. "Most of that comes from the generation of electricity."

Combined, commercial buildings and residential structures account for 40% of the nation's energy use.

The bill, introduced last spring and expected to be debated next session, calls for a net-zero energy standard by 2036 for new commercial property.

Bill sponsors see obstacles in the Senate, with questions over how it would impact the construction costs.

Richard Graves, associate professor and director of the Center for Sustainable Building Research at the University of Minnesota, said enhanced standards would pay off in the long run, and are less expensive for new construction. He pointed out it goes beyond adding LED lighting and improving insulation. For example, he suggested switching from natural gas to electric-based heating and cooling would be effective.

"Heat pumps are much more cost-effective and work better in our climate than they did just a few years ago," Graves emphasized.

Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, is the bill's sponsor in the Senate. He said there have been suggested amendments, such as making this optional for local governments, but he acknowledged there are calls from others, including the construction side, to press forward a statewide standard.

"A lot of thoughtful people have put some, some ideas into this," Senjem remarked. "And we want to try to get there if we can."

The effort comes as Minnesota struggles to reach broader greenhouse-gas emissions goals, including a 30% reduction by the year 2025. So far, the state has only seen an 8% reduction. Since 2005, there's been a 15% increase in emissions in the commercial sector.


get more stories like this via email
Around 17% of bachelor's degrees awarded to Black students nationwide come from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and research shows HBCUs boost economic mobility and generational wealth.(Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

One of North Carolina's oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities is finding new ways to help students stay enrolled and graduate. Recent …


Social Issues

A new survey finds 8 in 10 Kentucky parents say afterschool programs could help their child combat social and mental-health struggles by reducing unpr…

Social Issues

A new report found Texas likely undercounted the number of people who actually live in the state when gathering information for the 2020 census…


Examples of brownfield sites include an out-of-business gas station, or an old dry-cleaning business which may have disposed chemical solvents down the drain, contaminating the groundwater. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Minnesota has more than 10,000 brownfield sites, which are abandoned or idled properties in need of contamination removal. State officials will soon …

Social Issues

By age 35, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher are about twice as likely as workers with just a high school diploma to have a good job - one …

Since 2016, North Dakota has recorded more than 2,100 Alzheimer's deaths, with women making up 70% of those cases. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in North Dakota, prompting state officials to launch an online dashboard, where the public …

Health and Wellness

By Skylar Baker-Jordan for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Chance Dorland for the Tennessee News Service/Public News Service Collaboration The …

Social Issues

Women ages 50 and over cast a big chunk of ballots, with a big impact in American elections, and a new poll looked at what they want. Findings in …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021