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What Is the Impact of Architecture On Climate Change? By City Tech Blogger Daniel Rojas

Climate change has been significantly influenced by architecture. A significant amount of the world’s energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions are caused by buildings. As the global population continues to increase, so does the demand for resources. It is the duty of architects and builders to create buildings that are concerned about the environment, sustainable, and energy-efficient. Green building is a concept that uses renewable resources, recycled materials, and renewable energy sources to decrease the environmental effect of buildings.

Many of the building materials are not good for the environment and could have a negative impact on the environment. The most common material used around the world is concrete and the reason is that it is easy to find, very affordable, and also very durable. The main component to make concrete is cement which is mixed with other aggregates. The cement manufacturing process requires extremely high temperatures that release a large amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. One solution to reduce co2 emissions is the use of wood in buildings. Wood is very easy to find, good to work with, and low carbon material. Wood is a material that comes from trees that can be naturally replenished over time and also absorb CO2 from the air. With technological advances, new buildings are now being built with heavy wooden materials, the reason being that heavy wooden buildings can act as carbon sinks, meaning they can store carbon dioxide for decades or even centuries. There are many advantages to why we should use wood or other renewable materials instead of materials that put a lot of CO2 into the air.

The reuse of construction materials is an essential approach to promoting sustainable living and reducing waste. Instead of throwing away materials from old buildings, construction sites, etc., it is a matter of recovering, restoring, and reusing them. This approach not only helps minimize the amount of waste sent to landfill but also reduces the need to mine new raw materials, which can have a huge impact on the environment. One of the main benefits of reusing construction materials is the significant reduction in construction costs. Using recycled materials saves builders the cost of purchasing expensive new materials.

Renewable energy is another important solution to climate change. There is a growing consensus among scientists and policymakers that global warming is due to increased emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide, caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas. Compared to renewable energy, electricity is generated from renewable natural resources such as wind, sun, water, and geothermal energy. One source is solar energy, one of the most popular forms of renewable energy and widely used in many countries. Renewable energy is clean and does not produce harmful or polluting emissions that contribute to air pollution, acid rain, and global warming. Also, renewable energy is plentiful and can be used in many ways and in many different places, making it a more accessible source of energy. Advances in renewable energy technology have made them more accessible and affordable than ever. The transition to renewable energy requires not only homeowners but also businesses and governments.

Overall, buildings have been a major contributor to climate change. Buildings are responsible for a large portion of global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of climate change, the role of architecture in promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship will only become more critical. That is why architecture is the first step and the most effective way to fight climate change. Architects can find a solution to design buildings that are energy efficient and sustainable in order to reduce their impact on the environment.

In general, buildings contribute significantly to climate change. Buildings are responsible for a large part of the world’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. As the world continues with the challenges of climate change, architecture’s role in promoting sustainability and environmental protection is becoming increasingly important. That is why architecture is the first step and the most effective way to combat climate change. Architects can find a solution to design buildings that are energy efficient and sustainable to reduce their impact on the environment.

Image: https://www.architectmagazine.com/technology/7-ways-architecture-can-tackle-global-warming_o

 

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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.

One Response

  1. Buildings contribute a significant amount of greenhouse gasses, a key player in climate change. After all, when you think about buildings and the way they function, you can see how it’s a machine that uses the atmosphere and the Earth’s resources from water to air. “Buildings account for nearly 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to Architecture 2030. Add in other infrastructure and activities, such as transportation, that are associated with buildings, and that number jumps.” – Christina Huynh. Buildings use the outside air to either warm or cool the interior spaces. This means when they take in warm air on a summer day, they are only releasing the same air out with added moisture and waste. The energy needed for the electrical components in buildings to function, such as lighting, also are a factor which depends on if the building is using renewable energy, or a nonrenewable source of energy which leads to more emissions. Water is taken from reservoirs and either used for drinking, or for bathrooms which create sewage and waste, that either gets recycled via wastewater treatment, or gets dumped into the rivers. Lastly, if the building is a darker color it will take in more heat and affect the building itself by releasing chemicals in the air depending on the material or paint coating, or other material which could also contribute to emissions such as concrete and steel.

    “CO2 Emissions from Buildings and Construction Hit New High, Leaving Sector off Track to Decarbonize by 2050: Un.” UN Environment, https://www.unep.org/news-and-stories/press-release/co2-emissions-buildings-and-construction-hit-new-high-leaving-sector.

    “How Green Buildings Can Help Fight Climate Change.” U.S. Green Building Council, http://www.usgbc.org/articles/how-green-buildings-can-help-fight-climate-change. Accessed 11 May 2023.

    Budds, Diana. “How Do Buildings Contribute to Climate Change?” Curbed, 19 Sept. 2019, archive.curbed.com/2019/9/19/20874234/buildings-carbon-emissions-climate-change.

    “Why the Built Environment?” Architecture 2030, architecture2030.org/why-the-building-sector/. Accessed 11 May 2023.

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