The following article can be found at the
Environmental Protection - https://eponline.com/Articles/2017/01/23/Green-Building-and-Sustainability.aspx and is well worth the read - here is a small sample
Increased awareness of not only the value, but the necessity of adopting green building initiatives in new builds and retro fits is critical.
By Jack Laken
Jan 23, 2017
Our climate is changing. A shift in the number of wildfires, tsunamis, earthquakes, droughts, and heavy rainfalls has been attributed to climate change. These changes have had an impact on agriculture and wildlife, including the introduction of new pests and depleting habitats.
Humans and our current life style practices remain the leading contributors to climate change, with carbon being the main culprit.
The Impact of Carbon
According to Architecture 2030, nine hundred billion square feet of buildings will be newly constructed or renovated by 2030. Buildings are one of the leading contributors to carbon emission, mainly from their use of fossil fuels during operations. In fact, cities and urban areas are responsible for approximately 75 percent of carbon emissions. If these buildings continue to be developed and run in the traditional manner, the environmental damage will only progress.
Thankfully, with an increased focus on the hazards that buildings emit into the atmosphere, companies are starting to consider adopting greener initiatives. Cities worldwide are investing in climate action plans with the goal of reducing their environmental footprint. This includes "Smart City" initiatives to better manage existing infrastructure, zero waste policies, alternative energy sources, and researching the potential of developing net zero buildings.
Integrating sustainable resources that are long lasting is key to ensuring that a structure is fully sustainable. Products such as reclaimed wood, recycled plastic or glass, as well as energy-efficient, locally sourced materials such as concrete that naturally contains a high thermal mass, will ensure that the building is resource efficient.
Net Zero as a Solution
Net zero, however, for several companies and homeowners, still feels largely unattainable. Cost, restricting policies and procedures, and limited information often create roadblocks for making these energy-neutral buildings a reality. To be able to create these buildings, end users and investors need to both understand and value the chosen solution. This includes investing in energy-efficient solutions and advocating for standards that are environmentally responsible while being cost effective at the same time.