Feature Article

Climate Change: Building Industry, You’ve Got This!

Global warming has legs. Do our commitments to stopping it have teeth?

April 4, 2016

The Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center, designed by ZGF Architects, offers a model for net-zero energy and carbon that aims to balance innovation with market scalability.

Photo: Tim Griffith. Used with permission.
You can hardly open a browser or newspaper without reading a horrific headline about climate change today. Many of us are despondent about that, but also sick and tired of hearing that buildings are independently responsible for 40% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally. Not including transportation to and from buildings. Not including the impact of manufacturing building materials. Because what exactly are we supposed do about it?

First on the list: stop making and accepting excuses for why the design and construction industry is not doing more. “In the U.S., there’s good news and work to do,” Ed Mazria, FAIA, the founder of Architecture 2030, told BuildingGreen.

Below, and in the other articles in this special issue on climate goals, we’ll take a look at both.