Many people aren’t aware that the buildings we live and work in create close to 40% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Climate change has reached a critical point. We can no longer stand by and continue doing the same things, the same old way. Today, we have the knowledge, the tools, and the ability to build homes and workplaces that benefit human health and the health of our planet.
Around the world, buildings have a serious impact on our environment. From mining, production, and transportation of materials; to construction; to the impact of the building materials themselves, building construction and operations account for 35% of global energy use and 40% of greenhouse gas emissions.
And many building materials emit toxins that can be detrimental to human health. Since we spend 90% of our time indoors, this is a serious consideration. Yet as an industry, and as a society, we know how to change it.
We will add the equivalent of an entire New York City worth of buildings to the planet every 34 days for the next 40 years. We have the information and the knowledge to build better—today. Now is the time for change.
We can use proven Passive House technologies and build for a healthy future.
Buildings can be free of carbon emissions. They can even be net carbon positive, capturing more carbon than is released during their production. They can produce 75% less waste water. They can become self-reliant for energy. They can even feed resources back to the grid.
We can build for human health, with nature, light, fresh air, walkability, and social connection at the forefront of our intentions. Elements that have tangible, proven benefits for well-being. And we can go beyond simply doing less harm—to become truly regenerative and restorative.
Using locally sourced and sustainably harvested lumber, we reduce environmental impact from production and transport, and sequester carbon in the structure.
We harvest energy from the sun through integrated solar skins, incorporating shading, insulation, and specialized low-energy systems to minimize energy needs from the grid. We capture rain from the sky and considerably reduce water requirements from the city.
We grow gardens in the sky. We create spaces for people and nature to come together in every season.
Together, we can set new precedents in how we build now—and how we can build in the future. We have the knowledge and the tools to effect dramatic positive change. This is the time to lead the way.