Media

September 20, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

Eneref Institute Calls for Greater Use of Polycarbonate in Skylights

New Report from Eneref Institute Calls for Greater Use of Polycarbonate Plastic in Skylights to Insure Against Expected Increases in Severe Weather Events

Philadelphia – September 20, 2016 – A new report from Eneref Institute calls for a review of building codes to decrease the risks associated with the imminent threats from climate change. In particular, the report calls on the building industry to specify polycarbonate more aggressively as an option for plastic glazing materials in skylights.

The report, entitled “Examination of the Use of Polycarbonate in Commercial Skylights,” is available for download at eneref.org, HERE.

As part of their 2017 Well-Being in Lighting initiative, Eneref Institute takes an in-depth look at the benefits of stronger translucent skylight plastic materials and highlights the risk of exposure to future climate change-related events. The report outlines the adaptation of polycarbonate as the safest glazing material for skylights due to recent advances in polycarbonate glazing technology.

Eneref Institute will work closely with the National Institute of Building Sciences to serve as an interface between government and the private sector.

“Our concern is that most risk projections underestimate the number of people at risk from storm surges,” says Eneref Institute Founding Director Seth Warren Rose. “Often we see projections that only include the numbers of people currently at risk within an area, but the additional people that will come from exponential population growth are unaccounted for in those areas of projection.”

According to the report, Atlantic hurricanes have become 60% more powerful in the last 10 years, with a 25% increase in maximum wind speeds. As storms intensify, so will their damages. The extent of areas affected by extreme weather events has grown and will continue to do so over the next 10 years, leaving many US coastal areas particularly vulnerable.

The report further states, “Due to the increase in the force of storms currently attacking the coastal areas of the United States, it is prudent to exceed rather than simply meet code minimums.”

Through solid, in-depth analysis and data, Eneref’s evidence-based report provides key recommendations for actions that facility owners can take in order to move towards safer facilities in the face of man-made global warming.

Global warming adds significant new risks to the financial service industry. The insurance industry is especially susceptible to the risks associated with climate change and should ensure that strategies and risk management procedures are in place. Insurance companies’ losses due to storms, floods and other weather-related disasters have jumped over the past decade from about $10bn to $50bn a year (adjusted for inflation).

Beginning in 2017, Eneref Institute plans to set out a vision, with case studies and concrete examples, calling for a paradigm shift in the way financial institutions approach insurance policy with regard to climate change. Financial institutions must act and consider an alternative economic agenda to make the economy benefit the majority.

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About Eneref Institute:

Eneref Institute (www.eneref.org) is a research and advocacy organization focused on environmental and social responsibility opportunities. The mission of Eneref Institute is to launch initiatives that raise awareness for clear, specific solutions that promote efficient use of natural resources, demonstrate social responsibility and foster a peaceful, earth-friendly economy. Eneref Institute leads industry-specific initiatives and works closely with government agencies, including the US Department of Defense, Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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