Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Building Industry in Regenerative Change

From CSR wire: The biggest consumer of energy in the US is not transportation, but rather the 64 billion square feet of real estate. The US building sector consumes 40 percent of the country’s energy, and is responsible for the same percentage of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Specifics on addressing this problem are here.

This references a new study by WBCSD that conforming to the new Global energy targets is an immediate and crucial action worldwide.
New modeling by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) shows how energy use in buildings can be cut by 60 percent by 2050 – essential to meeting global climate change targets – but this will require immediate action to transform the building sector.

A pan-european system has emerged which is being rapidly adoped in the face of this challenge. It is a global standard being developed by european real estate concerns that will create an issue for the LEED and BREEAM standards here in the US. Much like the discord over the metric vs the english system of measurement, the question of universal adoption of any of these will depend upon how well these systems are able to audit project performance and enable the building industry to grow in a different way than it has in the past.

New approaches to planning, building, economics and resource management, as well as conservation of natural processes and territories, will necessarily come to the forefront of city redevelopment and human societies, in the interests of protecting what's left of the web of life.