This article is part of our Urban Expeditions series, an initiative made possible by a grant from United Technologies to the National Geographic Society. As the world’s urban population expands, architects and planners are mapping out ways to make cities more sustainable. Cities produce a vast amount of emissions and waste, putting a strain on both human and ecological health. But our buildings themselves may hold a solution. High-density urban areas—especially those built using green methods in design and construction—can be more energy efficient and pollute less. New research is also revealing that green buildings can actually be good for our health too. The infographics presented in this article is useful.
A rapid review on green-rated office buildings, and their operational energy use, found that the conclusions of six studies ranged from the certified buildings performing worse, similarly or much better than the non-certified buildings in terms of energy usage intensity. Two...Read more
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
Rapid global urbanization and the increase of the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect make urban cooling a necessity as well as an opportunity to increase the liveability and amenity of cities. This review is a scoping study of the relevant worldwide UHI mitigation/adaptation...Read more
The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment (the Commitment) challenges companies, cities, states and regions to reach Net Zero operating emissions in their portfolios by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be Net Zero in operation by 2050.
1. As a result of Colombia’s new green codes, buildings are expected to consume 10 to 45 percent less energy and water. These reductions will avoid nearly 190,000 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions by 2021, helping big cities like Bogota achieve a goal to reduce 2019’s greenhouse-gas emissions by 16 percent compared to 2007.2,3
The health and wellbeing of building occupants should be a key priority in the design, building, and operation of new and existing buildings. Buildings can be designed, renovated, and constructed to promote healthy environments and behaviors and mitigate adverse health outcomes.
Green building is cost-effective
1. Upfront investment in green building makes properties more valuable, with an average expected increase in value of 4 percent. By virtue of lowered maintenance and energy costs the return on investment from green building is rapid: green retrofit projects are generally expected to pay for itself in just seven years. 3