Feature Article

Buildings and the Environment: The Numbers

Most of us have a general understanding that buildings and the process of development have a pretty big impact on the environment. But what are those impacts and just how significant are they?

For this article, we have attempted to track down a wide range of statistics on the impacts of buildings on the environment. Most of these are fairly sobering—though there are a few bright spots here and there. The hope is that accurate information on the impacts of buildings and development on the environment can be used to help make the case for green building. And by establishing where we are today, we can check on progress (or lack thereof) over time.

Recognizing that there are often very different statistics on a particular issue from different sources, we have sought out the most objective sources. Just as important, we list those sources so that readers can decide how much salt they have to ingest with particular numbers.

The information presented here is organized into the five major environmental impact categories we use in our Bibliography: 1) land-use and communities; 2) site and water; 3) energy; 4) indoor environment; and 5) resources and materials.

Published May 1, 2001

(2001, May 1). Buildings and the Environment: The Numbers. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/feature/buildings-and-environment-numbers