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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Thursday, May 5, 2011

(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

An International Celebration of Safe and Sensible Structures: Week One – Energy & Green Building

Des Moines, IOWA --- In the United States, commercial and residential buildings use 40% of our total energy, two-thirds of our electricity, and one-eighth of our water.  In light of these environmental issues, it’s easy to understand why buildings fundamentally have an impact on people's lives, economic well being, the United States' dependence on foreign oil, national security and the health of the planet.

Because the efficiency with which a building uses energy is determined in part by decisions made far in advance of the actual use of that energy, a review of building designs and construction methods is critical. There is in fact a large, complex network of incentives and disincentives regarding energy choices in construction.  This building and design environment places government in a unique position to set and enforce building codes and standards, promote improvements, and collect and disseminate information regarding new technologies and best practices to both architects and contractors.

Green Building is a holistic approach to design, construction, and demolition that minimizes the building’s impact on the environment, the occupants, and the community. A “green” building practice expands and complements the classic building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort, so as to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and nature.

The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Building Code Bureau staff is dedicated to ensuring a building’s design and construction make good economic sense, while keeping in mind the total environmental and economic impacts.  The Building Code Bureau stands ready to assist Iowa’s architects and builders.

May is National Building Safety Month.  To view Governor Terry E. Branstad’s proclamation, click here.



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