Is Eco-Bling The Wrong Approach To Green Buildings?

Not all green technology introduced to buildings to make them more eco-friendly may be worth it. That’s a statement which may run in contradiction to some of the things we report here at EarthTechling, but it is, depending upon what technology is used and how it is implemented, unfortunately true. There’s a term floating around for that type of inefficient green tech being talked about over at GreenBeat called “eco-bling” and some folk from the Royal Academy of Engineering in the United Kingdom are talking about it as well while highlighting a way to fix the issue.

A new report out from this institution suggests that “before renewable energy generation is even considered it is vital to ensure that buildings are as energy efficient as possible, otherwise the potential benefits are simply wasted in offsetting un-necessary consumption.” This report was highlighted in a recent article in The Guardian, in which one of the report’s authors tells the newspaper “eco-bling describes unnecessary renewable energy visibly attached to the outside of poorly-designed buildings…if you build something that is just as energy-hungry as every other building and then put a few wind turbines and solar cells on the outside that addresses a few per cent of that building’s energy consumption, you’ve not achieved anything.”

image via Royal Academy of Engineering

The main solution presented in this report suggests the establishment of a new discipline called Building Engineering Physics, which would look at “the areas of natural science that relate to the energy performance of buildings and their indoor and outdoor environments.” It is felt that though this investigation a more efficient system could be developed for true green building impact on both older and newer buildings which doesn’t involve just slapping up a few small scale alternative energy units and calling it a day.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.