Both the public and private sectors continued to invest in building efficiency in 2011. The United States government, for example, committed billions of dollars to energy efficiency upgrades for both federal buildings and commercial buildings. Businesses, too, demonstrated awareness that decreasing energy waste is important to the bottom line. KPMG, for example, won an Energy Star award this year for the combined heat and power system it designed for its New Jersey data center; the Empire State Building continued the top-to-bottom, award-winning retrofit that saves it $4.4 million a year, according the to the landmark's owner.
In China, where nearly 30 percent of the country's energy is absorbed by the building sector, cities in the north (such as the "Ice City" of Harbin, above) have made great strides in retrofitting buildings as part of efforts to meet national targets for energy-intensity reduction. As businesses and governments around the world make similar efforts to shrink energy losses, the demand for necessary equipment and services is expected to boom. Pike Research predicts that the market for building efficiency will grow by more than 50 percent over the next six years.
"In China's Icy North, Outfitting Buildings to Save Energy"
"KPMG Captures Heat for Data Center Cooling"
"Pictures: In Search of Green Air-Conditioning"
"National Snow and Ice Data Center Gets a Cool Makeover"
"Green Design Spree Aims to Trim U.S. Government's Energy Bill"
"Pictures: Seven Supergreen Government Buildings"