The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) just released an in-depth report titled, “Government Issues R&D Agenda for “Net-Zero” Energy Green Buildings” (PDF). The primary objective of the report is to spur technology development to reduce consumption of energy, water and other natural resources while improving building performance.
This is a high-level R&D outline that was compiled from the recommendations of 16 federal agencies as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The research objectives outlined in this report provide a number of business opportunities for the combination of the CAD, BIM and GIS toolsets.
Here’s a compelling statement from the Executive Summary of this report:
“More effective stewardship of our resources contributes to the security, environmental sustainability, and economic well-being of the nation. Buildings present one of the best opportunities to economically reduce energy consumption and limit greenhouse gas emissions. Improving how buildings are designed, built, operated, renovated, and recycled could significantly alter how buildings use energy and other basic resources. This challenge will require the development of new, cost-effective building technologies, practices, and standards, the revision and revalidation of building requirements, and the holistic design of energy and resource use within the building, building site, campus, and community.”
The idea of holistic design across multiple scales of the community speaks to a better modeling environment to ascertain impacts, which is an area ideally suited for digital city models and CAD/BIM/GIS convergence. There’s a strong push for the development of standards, tools and guidance throughout this document, with definted goals for federal R&D spending in this sector. This document is a first step toward a more detailed R&D roadmap that I hope will be fast tracked with the next administration.