Photo taken at: New York, New York
If you live in a city like us, it’s easy to walk by a construction site and not have your thoughts go beyond the annoyance of jackhammers. But there is a much bigger issue associated with the construction we see everyday–its contributions to climate change. 40% of the total energy usage worldwide is estimated to come from the daily operations of buildings and those numbers will continue to rise as commercial building projects are projected to increase over the next decade. The EPA reports that the tools and chemicals used in construction can significantly “harm public health and the environment” due to processes like the extraction of raw materials and the use of onsite chemicals. The waste that is produced by the construction industry is also a worldwide problem. Construction activities account for ⅙ of global freshwater consumption, ¼ of wood consumption and ¼ of global waste. Additionally, traditional building materials like concrete, aluminum and steel are directly responsible for mass quantities of CO2 emissions entering our atmosphere. According to the American Chemistry Council, developers should make environmental consideration and energy efficiency a priority in the planning process and all criteria for “green” buildings should be based in the most current scientific data. Do you think it’s time to construct a greener way to build?