Buildings have a major impact on the environment over their entire life cycle. Responsible for 40% of worldwide energy flow and material use, conventional buildings have been identified as the largest source of green-house gas emissions, even more than that of the transport and industry sector. They affect urban air quality and contribute to climate change. They are also hazardous to health at times. During their lifecycle, conventional buildings harm the environment in many ways.
Resources such as ground cover, forests, water, and energy are depleted to give way to buildings. Indiscriminate use of building material without giving a thought to the environment.
Most of the building material is sourced from great distances adding to their carbon commute. Building design and landscaping is such that the building uses water and its landscape need pesticide during its lifetime.
These buildings have energy-consuming systems for lighting, space conditioning, water heating and hi-tech controls to add to the comfort and convenience of the occupants.
No system for recycling water and waste management.
Poor indoor air-quality.
However, buildings also offer the cheapest way to reduce carbon footprint. As awareness spreads, conscious consumers are increasingly demanding environment friendly, energy-efficient homes.
More information can be found at: http://www.copperwiki.org/index.php/Green_Building
Excellent, excellent. It would be spectacular if we could convert to energy-efficient buildings. The only problem is the cost of conversion, although they will eventually pay for themselves. This is called a J-Curve, and it rarely ever happens in politics.
Politicians mainly act in order to get re-elected, because they have a pretty cushy job. So if policy's great, but will initially cost a lot, very few politicians are willing to do so. If you elect some guy into office and he spends all the money in the city coffers, he's gone next election cycle. Now that money he invested turns around and people see the benefits, but his successor gets all the credit. J-Curves and policy, rarely seen.
It's unfortunate. We see and put to use J-Curve mentality in our daily lives, but when people come together as a voting public they rarely have a mind for it. I think it's because we see a new politician as a change, and when we don't immediately get that change we get resentful. Combine this with the very low turnover rate of incumbent politicians and the bigger picture remains relatively unchanged. It is my hope that this election has awaken something in the American people... once every generation or so a shift like this comes about, and there's a giant leap in progress. Hopefully we're due, and hopefully that means we'll get some eco-friendly buildings built!
Imagine how much money we could spend on teachers and classrooms when a large percentage of it's not going towards heat and electricity.
We should all build underground homes. Then we'd all have yards.
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