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.