Monthly Archives: September 2016

  • Four Ways Cities Are Greening Our Buildings

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    Filed in Construction, Development & Real Estate , Eco-Innovation , Energy , Environment & Climate , on by Worldwatch Institute

    Can a city be sustainable? That’s what our 2016 edition of State of the World investigates. In his chapter, “Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Buildings,” author and project co-director Michael Renner explains what actions cities can take to make their buildings greener.

    Buildings are some of the biggest users of materials and water, consume nearly half of the world’s energy, and contribute almost half of global greenhouse gas emissions. With more buildings sprouting up every year and existing ones often being inefficient, cities have begun to tap into their toolkit of policies to help reach sustainability goals.

    Four Methods That Work

    Tapping into their policy toolkits, municipalities around the world are using a blend of building codes and permits, zoning regulations, building performance ordinances, and other mandates and regulations. Taxes and other financial policies can provide additional incentives. Subsidies can reduce the upfront cost of retrofits and ensure that lower-income residents are not left behind.

    Here are four tactics that cities and their residents are using to push toward urban sustainability:

    1. Building Certifications

    Hundreds of green certifications exist today, ranging from standards for equipment and appliances (such as Energy Star and WaterSense) to certifications for entire buildings (such as BREEAM and LEED). ... Read More