Architecture Industry: A Hidden Culprit to Global Warming

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Contrary to this belief that transportation industry is largely responsible for climate change and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, buildings are the single largest contributors to global warming.

“If we buy the wrong TV we're saddled with it for a few years. If we buy the wrong sandwich we're only saddled with it for the afternoon. But if we buy the wrong building, we're saddled with it for far longer,” answered Peter Morris principal of the construction consultancy Davis Langdon, in response to a question by a leading Indian magazine, BusinessWeek. Build green building and promote global environmental responsibility. Build green and save money. Increasing environmental consciousness among people, international outcry for a “cleaner, greener and safer Earth”, greenhouse issues raised by the environmentalists from the different corners of world are compelling architectural firms, real estate developers, home builders, virtual building solutions provider to focus on sustainable green building. 

The architecture industry has a profound impact on our daily lives. Contrary to this belief that transportation industry is largely responsible for climate change and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, buildings are the single largest contributors to global warming. According to the US Energy Information Administration, buildings are responsible for almost half (48%) of all energy consumption and Green House Gas emissions annually. Globally the percentage is even greater. Architectural buildings including residential, commercial and industrial buildings consume 76% of total U.S. electricity generation. 

The story does not end here. Building industry also generates tons of wastage materials which distort the soil structure and pollute environment largely. For example, the architecture industry in UK produces nearly 20 percent of all UK waste, equating to approximately 90 million tonnes sent to landfill every year. This figure is sufficient enough to prove the impact of architecture industry on ecological system. In the US alone, more than 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of open space, wildlife SUPS habitat, and wetlands are developed each year. More commercial and residential building will be developed in the coming years. More energy and water consumption will alternate the ecological balance and healthy atmosphere. Immediate action in the building sector is required if we want to avoid the coming grave crisis. Architectural firms can gift us a green tomorrow as 80% of the sustainable design decisions that affect a building’s energy performance are made by architect at the design phase. With gradual advancement in technology and engineering, Architectural firm can evaluate the energy performance of a building at the early stage of designing building process. 
 

Architectural firms can benefit the world with green tomorrow reducing the carbon footprints and sending less greenhouse gas in atmosphere. 38% of total amount of carbon dioxide in U.S. can be attributed to buildings, 21 percent from homes and 17.5 percent from commercial uses. More emphasis on green building by architectural firms indicates more sustainable and green cities being built. Go Green now…Save green tomorrow. 

Movies like “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore; “The Day After Tomorrow” and recently released “2012” directed by Roland Emmerich; the international panel for Climate Change; and environmentalists - all are raising various issues related to climate change and trying to rouse environmental awareness among people around the globe, advocating decisive action to make societies green and sustainable. Architectural firms should join the movement and emphasize their focus on green building to stabilize the environment.

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