Building for Climate Change: Examining the Environmental Impacts of the Built Environment

Mehzabeen Mannan, Sami G. Al-Ghamdi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The growth of building stock worldwide has resulted in significant material usage and adverse environmental consequences, particularly in the context of climate change. Surprisingly, more than one-third of global energy consumption and carbon emissions can be attributed to the construction and operation of residential and commercial structures. To effectively mitigate climate change, it is crucial to examine buildings across their entire life cycle, considering not only their operational energy consumption and associated carbon emissions but also the embodied aspect. Mitigating building-related emissions necessitates the utilization of low-embodied carbon materials, implementing strategies for reducing, reusing, and recovering construction materials, improving design and construction efficiency, exploring carbon sequestration techniques, and extending building lifespans. This chapter offers a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the built environment on climate change, emphasizing the significance of addressing both embodied and operational carbon emissions. By highlighting the interdependence between buildings and climate change, it advocates for a holistic approach to assessing environmental impact. The objective is to provide guidance to policymakers, architects, and other stakeholders in developing and implementing sustainable practices that align with global climate change mitigation objectives. Through the integration of sustainable strategies into building design, construction, and operation, the chapter aims to foster a more sustainable and resilient built environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSustainable Cities in a Changing Climate
Subtitle of host publicationEnhancing Urban Resilience
PublisherWiley
Pages39-59
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781394201532
ISBN (Print)9781394201549
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Keywords

  • carbon emissions
  • climate change mitigation
  • embodied carbon
  • operational carbon
  • sustainable building practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science

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