Below is the text version of the video “Advanced Building Construction: Enabling Low-Carbon Buildings for All Americans.”
We live in an era of vast technological possibilities. American ingenuity put a man on the moon, smart phones in our pockets, and clean electric vehicles on our streets. Yet we continue to spend most of our time in homes and buildings that rely on antiquated technologies and the same construction practices used more than a century ago. With more than 125 million buildings in the United States, we are paying the price.
Buildings are the largest sector of the U.S. energy economy. They use 74% of our nation's electricity and account for 39% of our total energy use and 35% of our carbon emissions. Most buildings were constructed before modern-day building codes. Outdated approaches to construction and renovation cost us billions of dollars in energy losses, construction delays, and faulty assembly.
Fortunately, big challenges can inspire big innovations. Launched by the Department of Energy's Building Technologies Office, the Advanced Building Construction -- or ABC -- Initiative is taking buildings in a new direction. By integrating high-performance, energy-efficient, low-carbon technologies into state-of-the-art construction methods, ABC is transforming the way buildings are designed, constructed, and renovated -- putting the U.S. on the path to a carbon-free buildings sector by 2050.
Leveraging some of the brightest minds from tech, manufacturing, logistics, and finance, the ABC Initiative is introducing innovations across the building supply chain from start to finish. By investing in disruptive technologies and practices like industrialized construction, low-carbon materials, and "augmented reality"-guided installation, the ABC Initiative will deliver fast and flexible solutions to modernize our building stock and help mitigate our climate crisis.
But ABC doesn't stop at carbon. It's about making it easier and less costly to have high-quality buildings that appeal to a variety of needs. ABC can turn old, drafty homes into highly efficient, comfortable spaces with greater curb appeal without disrupting the people that live there. It can create buildings that stand up to extreme weather, saving billions of dollars in recovery efforts. And it can cut down on costly operations and maintenance expenses for homes and commercial buildings alike.
ABC will also fuel economic development, re-energizing U.S. manufacturing in an industry that desperately needs it, and providing new opportunities for underserved communities to participate in a reimagined construction workforce.
Momentum is growing through the ABC Collaborative, a diverse network of stakeholders from across the real estate and construction sectors. Leveraging commitments from industry, cities, states, and foundations to address climate change, bolster jobs, and expand affordable housing, the ABC Collaborative is cultivating relationships between suppliers, manufacturers, building developers and owners to ensure that ABC solutions thrive.
ABC is a dramatic but necessary shift from conventional building practices, and with American ingenuity it will transform the industry to create buildings we can all benefit from.
Join us in forging a new path to a future where carbon-neutral buildings provide comfort and safety to all Americans.