architecture

How buildings can help to meet the Sustainable Development Goals

Rather than profile a specific building this week, I wanted to pass on this infographic that I came across recently from the World Green Building Council. It outlines some of the ways that the construction industry can help to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

40% of global carbon emissions are related to buildings, either constructing them, heating them or cooling them. There’s no reversing climate change without a revolution in what we build and how we build it. 46% of all the raw materials mined globally are for construction and maintenance, so what we make buildings out of matters too. If we want to reduce our impact on the earth, reducing and reusing materials is going to be important.

Since buildings last a long time, every bad building locks us into wasteful and inefficient ways of life – long commutes perhaps, or high heating bills. Equally, every well made building in the right place commits us to greener and cleaner choices for decades to come. It’s why I write so often about sustainable buildings.

Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, the construction industry could work towards locking in good practice in all sorts of areas – lower energy use, protecting forests, encouraging health and wellbeing, or increasing the take-up of renewable energy:

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