Breath of Clarity

Thorton, Colorado

Original Post by Andrew Garcia:

The city I currently live in is Thornton, Colorado. I did not find anything specific to the “80 by ‘50” goal but did find some information on their sustainability projects and policies going forward. I found a document which takes an inventory of all emissions in Thornton and uses that data to establish a baseline where emission reductions can begin. Thornton has a rapidly growing population, they established that their building sector and specifically residential buildings will need to be addressed for possible emission reductions. The potential strategies range from improvements in insulation, wind source energy, replace inefficient appliances, low-income weatherization, and pursue Xcel demand side management programs (Schmaltz 2010). Ironically enough, I just signed my house up for this program through Xcel over the weekend. Thornton’s focus is on their growing population, the environmental goals stem from this concern and revolve around smart growth and building efficiency requirements.

My Comment:

I am particularly interested in Thorton’s green building sector, specifically as it relates to residential improvements. I found a studyLinks to an external site. investigating the feasibility of energy efficient retrofits in Australia (Matthews 2017). Researchers implemented energy efficient upgrades in a collection of houses to assess costs savings along with any implementation issues. The study examined wall insulation which is a modern incorporation into housing. Benefits include reduced need for supplementary heating/cooling, fewer droughts, less noise pollution, less condensation and mold growth, fewer health hazards (Matthews 2017). For example, 15-25% of heat/gain loss is attributed to uninsulated walls. In the given study, householders perceived around a 18% increase in the thermal comfort of their homes and a reduction of around 28% in the difficulty of heating their home, reportedly due to greater heat retention, better heat distribution and faster heating-up rate (Matthews 2017). The final modeling revealed an average savings of $157/year for each household. The author recommends pumped-in wall insulation as the most viable option because it does not require moving wall linings or weatherboards (Matthews 2017). However, since the wall-insulation industry is not yet well-developed in Australia, the report suggests that as demand increases, prices are going to become more competitive (Matthews 2017). Whereas in the UK, buyer confidence has been increased by government-supported incentives and better quality training for assessors and installers (Matthews 2017).

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