Computing power has grown 100 times over last 10 years, helping to create rapid and profound changes in the tools of building design and construction. But as sophisticated building- information-modeling tools help create ever more complex buildings, why aren't they doing more to design buildings that have greater energy efficiency?
These were some of the key points—and challenges—that building experts outlined during Architectural Record's "Innovation Conference 2012" in New York City this month. (AR and ENR are both owned by McGraw-Hill.) "Buildings are [still] the single-largest [user[ of energy on the planet," noted Stephen Selkowitz, who heads the building-technologies department at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Although he lauded the extensive research to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, including rapid analysis of the reams of data that buildings produce, Selkowitz urged experts to accelerate the pace of adopting new practices in the commercial world.