INTRODUCTION OF THE GREEN BUILDING REVOLUTION :
The green building revolution is sweeping across not only the United States
but most of the world. It’s a revolution inspired by an awakened understanding of how buildings use resources, affect people, and harm the environment.
This revolution is further fueled by the knowledge that the world has little time to respond to the growing dangers of climate change, especially global warming, and that buildings play a huge role in causing carbon dioxide emissions that drive global climate change. According to Architecture 2030, our commercial and residential buildings generate, directly or indirectly, nearly half the carbon emissions of the entire United States.
How important is the green building revolution? A 2007 study by McKinsey, an international consulting firm, showed that changes in building
design and construction could offset up to 6 billion tons of carbon emissions
annually “through measures with a zero or negative net life-cycle cost.”
This amount constitutes about one-fourth of the abatement required to keep atmospheric carbon emissions below 450 parts per million in 2030. In other words, green building saves carbon emissions and money at the same time, through effective insulation, glazing, water heating, air-conditioning, lighting, and other energy-efficiency measures. This is a win-win scenario on which both climate-change activists and hardheaded business people can agree.