Our buildings consume 35% of all generated energy and 60% of all electricity. Could then be safe to say architecture should play a key role when it comes to take action on global warming?
Since the Industrial revolution, we have been building in isolation from the environment and this has deeply contributed to the change in the behaviour of the planet. Consequently, the world is now full of buildings consuming much more energy than necessary to deliver the services their owners and occupants need.
It’s a well-known fact that the construction sector is responsible for 30% of the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. Some reports elevate this figure to 50%. In any case, experts worry about how high this percentage is for only one industry.
The list of what we could call ‘human mistakes’ is long, but when it comes to global warming and carbon footprints, one of them stands out among the others: our buildings consume 35% of all generated energy and 60% of all electricity. Therefore, it is possible to say architects play a key role when it comes to climate change, since the homes, offices, schools, stores, and shopping centres we’re currently building have the ability to worsen or alleviate the emission of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Traditionally, architectural associations have not really agreed in taking measures to address climate change. But in recent years we have been witnessing a thoughtful engagement in practices that lead to better building performance and a transition to a clean energy future.
Conferences being held around the world show that there’s a growing market awareness and a desire to move towards more energy efficient buildings, sustainable initiatives, and ways to reuse and adapt materials.