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Fall 2012




In 2001, the City of Portland identified over 1,900 URM's, many of which have never been seismically upgraded. These structures will pose a serious risk to occupants both during and after a seismic event. In this collection of historic structures live and work thousands of families, school children, and professionals. Additionally, due to their lack of wall insulation and outdated mechanical systems, these URM buildings tend to perform poorly in terms of their energy use. It is important to understand why energy upgrades to our existing building stock is necessary. Buildings account for 40 percent of the emissions of carbon dioxide and they also consume 71 percent of all electricity used and 54 percent of all natural gas used . In addition, accord ing to the 2010 publication by Next 10, existing buildings represents both a significant drain on our economy and an untapped resource. By increasing our commercial building energy efficiency we could provide significant savings for businesses, universit ies and our government. We could reduce the need to build new power plants and cut global warming pollution. All the while generating jobs and stimulating economic growth. They point out that our existing building stock represents the greatest opportunity for capturing the low-hanging fruit in energy efficiency rewards. These facts make UR Ms the ideal candidate for both energy and seismic retrofits.


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Optimizing Efficiencies in Multi-Performance Upgrades to Unreinforced Masonry (URM} Buildings

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