It's Getting Warm / by Positive Energy

Greetings Building Science Enthusiasts,

Coming off the tail end of a very hot summer in Austin, we figured it’d be good to take a moment and remind everyone of one of the fundamental reasons Positive Energy has engaged in the work we do. The relationship of health and carbon energy is really important to understand in design. Because the planet is heating up - quickly.

The temperature spiral  that University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkins tweeted back in 2016 got some internet conversations going by presenting a new way to look at global temperatures. Using a circular graph of every year’s monthly temperatures and animating it, Hawkins’ image showed planetary heat spiraling closer to the 2°C threshold in a way that bar or line graphs couldn’t communicate well.

University of Reading climate scientist Ed Hawkins Spiral Climate Temp Graph

Of course, we look at human health as the centerpiece of design criteria for any home, but we also realize that if we don’t have a habitable planet to live on, there’s not much we can do to make sure people are healthy. And that’s why every design we take on accounts for a healthy indoor environment as well as the most sensible, low energy profile as is possible for the project. And it’s not all that difficult to model for and plan for if the conversation gets started early enough.

Locally, groups like the Austin AIA Committee On The Environment and the Austin chapter of Passive House U.S. (as well as many others) are leading the charge trying to foster dialogue that show a different narrative course for residential construction. Knowledge is power. Power can change lives.