The Construction of Cities Creates Significant Emissions and Determines Future Energy Demands.

Population

More than half of the world population live in urban areas and each week the global urban population increases by 1.3 million.

Emmision

The continued expansion of fossil fuel-based infrastructure would produce cumulative emissions of 2,986 – 7,402 GtCO2 during the remainder of the 21st century.

Electricity

Globally, 32 % of the rural population lack access to electricity and other modern energy sources, compared to only 5.3 % of the urban population.

Eneref Wellness Initiative

Here’s how people responded to wellness solutions.

When the renovation was complete, it was unbelievable. Students were astonished by the results.

Ken Fibbi - Director of Buildings for the West Allegheny School Distric View Eneref Report

In all the buildings I’ve ever designed, they always have had a daylight component, because it just makes sense

Gerard Lee - Architect with Harley Ellis Devereaux View Eneref Report

I knew the ceilings were going to be beautiful with those light shafts cut through, and they are. It’s a really nice space.

Andrea Kowalski - Owner, Andrea Kowalski Architect LLC View Eneref Report

Overall it’s great – the kids definitely enjoy having natural light in there, it’s just a much more natural feel.

William Teal - Science Teacher, Alvin Junior High School View Eneref Report

Everybody comments on it because of the openness and the daylight. And when the moon’s just in the right spot—it’s great.

The Homeowner View Eneref Report

You wouldn’t believe it, how much daylight it makes inside the building. I mean it’s phenomenal.

Keith Bonn - Facilities Coordinator, Delta Gear View Eneref Report

Urbanization

The shift from rural to more urban societies is a global trend with significant consequences for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change mitigation. Across multiple dimensions, the scale and speed of urbanization is unprecedented. more than half of the world population live in urban areas and each week the global urban population increases by 1.3 million. Today there are nearly 1000 urban agglomerations with populations of 500,000 or greater; by 2050, the global urban population is expected to increase by between 2.5 to 3 billion, corresponding to 64 % to 69 % of the world population.

Current and future urbanization trends are significantly different from the past. The anticipated growth in urban population will require a massive build-up of urban infrastructure, which is a key driver of emissions across multiple sectors (limited evidence, high agreement). If the global population increases to 9.3 billion by 2050 and developing countries expand their built environment and infrastructure to current global average levels using available technology of today, the production of infrastructure materials alone would generate approximately 470 Gt of CO2 emissions. Currently, average per capita CO2 emissions embodied in the infrastructure of industrialized countries is five times larger than those in developing countries. The continued expansion of fossil fuel-based infrastructure would produce cumulative emissions of 2,986 – 7,402 GtCO2 during the remainder of the 21st century.

Spatial Planning

The feasibility of spatial planning instruments for climate change mitigation is highly dependent on a city’s financial and governance capability (robust evidence, high agreement). Drivers of urban GHG emissions are interrelated and can be addressed by a number of regulatory, management, and market-based instruments. Many of these instruments are applicable to cities in both developed and developing countries, but the degree to which they can be implemented varies. In addition, each instrument varies in its potential to generate public revenues or require government expenditures, and the administrative scale at which it can be applied. A bundling of instruments and a high level of coordination across institutions can increase the likelihood of achieving emissions reductions and avoiding unintended outcomes (robust evidence, high agreement).

For designing and implementing climate policies effectively, institutional arrangements, governance mechanisms, and financial resources should be aligned with the goals of reducing urban GHG emissions (robust evidence, high agreement). These goals will reflect the specific challenges facing individual cities and local governments.

  1. How do people preform under natural interior daylight?

    Natural interior daylight offers a multitude of benefits beyond energy savings. It is the highest quality light source available for interior environments, it is flicker-free and it provides excellent color rendering and color balance. And natural interior daylight is one of the fastest greenhouse gas reducing paybacks you can buy, because it shrinks both energy bills and re-lamping maintenance costs. The fact is, introducing daylight into buildings provides energy savings, excellent lighting quality and more beautiful interior spaces.

    There is also plenty of evidence that daylighting improves occupant productivity in both schools and offices. Especially in learning environments, skylit classrooms provide a natural and stimulating space for teacher and student. While studies show that poor lighting adversely affects learning, daylighting has been proven to increase student performance in math and reading scores, as well as improving attendance. t button to change this text.

    Studies show that office workers have few sick days. The human performance numbers in daylighting systems are important because the ROI for daylighting installations can sometimes be a difficult sell. In fact, the human performance gains can outweigh the energy savings, where human performance can be measured in financial terms.

  2. How daylight influence the circadian rhythm of human body ?

    In addition to facilitating vision, light influences the human body in non-visual ways. Humans and animals have internal clocks that synchronize physiological functions on roughly a 24-hour cycle called the circadian rhythm. The body responds to a number of zeitgebers—the external cues that align physiological functions to the solar day in this cycle. Light is the most important of these zeitgebers, keeping the body’s internal clocks synchronized in a process known as circadian photoentrainment.

    Multiple physiological processes—including those relating to alertness, digestion, and sleep—are regulated in part by the variance and interplay of hormones involved in this cycle. A consideration of light exposure is particularly significant considering the role this plays in sleep and given that the Institute of Medicine reports that about 50 to 70 million U.S. adults have a chronic sleep or wakefulness disorder. Further, such disorders and chronic sleep deprivation are associated with increased risk of certain morbidities, including diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, hypertension, and stroke. source 

  3. Premature mortality rate in the US due to outdoor air quality?

    Globally, outdoor air quality is deteriorating due to pollution from traffic, construction, agricultural activity, combustion sources and particulate matter. Clean air is a critical component to our health. Air pollution is the number one environmental cause of premature mortality, contributing to 50,000 premature deaths annually in the United States and approximately 7 million, or one in eight premature deaths worldwide. source

  4. How many people die annually due lack access to safe drinking water ?

    Clean drinking water is a prerequisite for optimal health. Drinking water contamination is a major public health issue. Many people receive water that has been exposed to potentially harmful levels of biological, chemical and mineral contaminants. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that almost one billion people lack access to safe drinking water worldwide, and two million annual deaths are attributable to unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene. source

  5. Physical inactivity statistics in the US ?

    Physical inactivity poses one of the biggest modern threats to public health. Majority of people today are physically inactive. Modern transportation, labor-saving conveniences, and sedentary jobs have created an environment in which millions of people fail to achieve the minimum level of activity necessary to help prevent type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, heart disease and other chronic conditions. In the U.S. alone, fewer than 50% of elementary school students, 10% of adolescents and 5% of adults obtain 30 minutes of daily physical activity. source

Natural Daylight Inside PA Elementary School

“When the renovation was complete, it was unbelievable. Students were astonished by the results.”— Ken Fibbi, Director of Buildings for the West Allegheny School District.

FAQ: Why is natural interior daylight important for wellness?

All light—not just sunlight—can contribute to circadian photoentrainment. Given that people spend much of their waking day indoors, insufficient illumination or improper lighting design can lead to a drift of the circadian phase, especially if paired with inappropriate light exposure at night.

Multiple physiological processes—including those relating to alertness, digestion and sleep—are regulated in part by the variance and interplay of hormones involved in this cycle. A consideration of light exposure is particularly significant considering the role this plays in sleep, and given that the Institute of Medicine reports that about 50 to 70 million U.S. adults have a chronic sleep or wakefulness disorder. Further, such disorders and chronic sleep deprivation are associated with increased risk of certain morbidities, including diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, hypertension and stroke.

Eneref Institute has identified seven primary reasons we don’t see more natural interior daylight in our buildings. To learn the seven market obstacles to daylighting, download Eneref Institute’s report.