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'We Just Haven’t Seen Innovation': Dartmouth’s Engineering Dean On Why Buildings Are the Frontier for Tackling Climate Change

Feb 16, 2021   |   Fortune

"For Alexis Abramson, the innocuous buildings that make up our standard urban landscape—the office buildings, houses, and convenience stores—are an enduring riddle," reports Fortune.

"These buildings consume about 39% of energy annually in the U.S. and are responsible for 12% of the country’s emissions, largely owing to the strains of heating and cooling them. We have the technology to dramatically reduce their energy consumption, she says—and yet, so often, we don’t put those solutions into place.

"Abramson is the dean of Dartmouth College’s Thayer School of Engineering, a former technical adviser to Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, and the cofounder and COO of Edifice Analytics, a startup that tracks and analyzes where buildings can save energy. She spoke to Fortune about what it takes to get us to buy a better refrigerator; the perils of 'dumb' buildings; and why, to tackle big problems—like climate change—engineers need to embrace the liberal arts."

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