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How Does My Academic Major Relate to Climate Change? By City Tech Blogger Hilal Din

Climate change can be very detrimental on a global scale, considering the fact that humans are susceptible and vulnerable when it comes to climate change and the outcomes associated. As problem solvers, scholars, and engineers (Construction Engineering) we can help incorporate proper measures to help reduce the overall carbon emissions and help formulate new technologies, means and methods of construction, building and sustainability, to help halt climate change.

Construction as we know accumulates roughly 12 percent of the total GDP, making it a very important and vast sector in our economy. Buildings are being constructed at an alarming rate all across the globe as countries are competing to showcase their talents and buildings. As engineers in the construction industry, it is important to take into account all the harmful materials and methodologies used and incorporated in the construction process which drastically contributes to global warming. Surprisingly the construction industry accumulates for approximately 38 percent of C02 related emissions. Approximately 11-12 percent of that 38 percent is a direct result from the manufacturing process of materials such as cement, glass, steel, etc. The remainder being a result of the overall daily operations of the building.

The incorporation of LEED certified buildings or green buildings is a great alternative as studies have shown significantly less greenhouse gases as a byproduct of these buildings as opposed to the conventional methods. LEED buildings conserve energy, water, resources and are beneficial for the overall health and well being as well as the climate. A poorly designed building requires and consumes more energy which not only leads to higher costs but also contributes to global warming. Green sustainable buildings also incorporate features such as biophilic design, open spaces, and recreational centers/activities promoting overall better health and also helps reduce exposure to toxins and pollutants.

The use of energy efficient appliances as well as the overall architectural design of the building allowing for passive heating and cooling can drastically help and reduce the carbon footprint produced by the building on its day to day operations in the long run. The use of recycled and natural materials along with finding alternatives for materials such as cement, which is a major contributor of C02, and possibly trying to come up with a permanent solution would be ideal in combating global warming.

image: https://www.serverfarmllc.com/2020/04/modernization-vs-new-build-data-centers/


Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

2 Responses

  1. Hello, Hilal. I really enjoyed your post, it is really interesting. I know what construction is like but you went deeper into that. One thing that interested me the most is the way you break it down into including numbers and resources of this article. When I read through it, I was like wow, that is really interesting. I want to say, an awesome job in this article, hopefully one day when I become really successful in my career and own a lot of buildings and get a lot of construction done I will keep in mind what you wrote about. I agree with you and what you said in the beginning; climate change is happening on a global scale and to be honest with you, I feel like we are in that phase right now because there are days in which temperatures will reach into the upper 40s and other days around the early to late 60s almost 70 so its kind of crazy to see. Also in the city, it’s getting barely any snow so it’s kind of crazy. In my mind I am saying climate change is happening in a big way. But anyway Hilal, good job on publishing this blog, it was awesome and interesting especially learning about construction and the percentages from it. I had fun reading your blog and I wish the best in the future, whatever you are going to be. Good job and hopefully I see you around the college campus.

  2. First of all, my knowledge has increased while reading this post, I could have not imagined that the construction industry contributes so much to the emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere. Some of the solutions offered here to prevent climate change are very bold; such as finding alternatives to cement. In the long run, it’s ideal to do away completely with cement but in the short run, it’s difficult to achieve that. Therefore, for now, the focus should be on finding ways to reduce the use of cement in construction and ways to make cement less polluting. Cement is a lot like plastic, it’s necessary in many applications but it is also a dangerous pollutant. Much of the policies applied to the issue of plastics can be mirrored in the issue of cement.
    The author of this post is right on point when he mentions that construction engineers should build infrastructures that are energy efficient, meaning they keep the heat indoors in winter and the cool air indoors as well in the summer. That will definitely help with reducing the consumption of energy in heating and air-conditioning. Additionally, buildings should be built with both wind and solar capabilities where doable because that will help reduce the over-usage of the grid system especially in the summer. The programs incentivizing the use of solar by private owners should be expanded to commercial and public buildings so that no one is left behind. Green roofs and urban farming on rooftops are also complementary ways to making buildings more energy efficient.

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