Smarter Living: 2,000-Watt Society
January 17 – March 1, 2012
In 2008, the citizens of Zurich approved a referendum to reduce energy consumption by each person from the current 6,500 watts to 2,000 watts by 2050. The exhibition illustrates the goal and the current status of the path to sustainable construction and demonstrates the diverse range of possible solutions. This exhibition gives architects, investors, and contractors the courage and desire to continue on this path and to invite them to accept the challenge of a 2,000-watt society.
Why a 2,000-Watt Society? On global average, a person needs 17,500 kilowatt-hours a year, corresponding to a continuous requirement of 2,000 watts. In Switzerland, the figure is three times higher, i.e., 6,000 watts per person, and in the U.S. the figure is currently approximately 6 times higher at 12,000 watts. People in some Asian and African countries only need fractions of that amount. The vision of a 2,000-watt society enables a balance between industrialized and developing countries, thus making it possible for all people to enjoy a good standard of living.
Is a 2,000-Watt Society Feasible? The 2,000-watt society is embodied in the City of Zurich’s constitution as a guiding concept and mandate. The objective of this vision is that we handle our planet's limited resources with greater care and no longer live at the expense of future generations. The path toward the 2,000-watt society will affect many aspects of life. Today, buildings account for over 40 percent of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. That must change dramatically. What we plan today must still be in place fifty years from now.
The exhibition features 18 projects that illustrate different approaches to sustainable architecture with complex technical solutions and clever references to traditional construction methods in small and large projects, retrofitting old housing stock, and new urban developments. What is being done today needs to be part of the future. In Switzerland, “Green” is no longer an option, it’s the law!
For more information please visit: The Goldstein Museum of Design