The more I read about green building and environmental issues, it seems clear that they’re all connected to the same issue; the need to change people’s minds. It really does seem that this is a major factor that needs to be overcome when it comes to greater energy efficiency and use of resources to curtail the effects of global climate change.
This article about green building from the Guardian makes the connection between energy consumption in buildings, which accounts for one-third of global energy use, and global climate change. The article is specifically concerned with growth in Asia, a developing region which will either model greater efficiency for the rest of the world or astronomically, and disastrously, contribute to the growing problem of global climate change. That tipping point can be decided by how buildings are designed, and how resources which are in place to maintain them are managed for the long term.
Despite proof to the contrary, green building practices still seem to be shrouded in myth – that they are more expensive, that they are less comfortable for occupants, and that green building isn’t viable because not everyone is embracing it. The article makes a point that I myself have come to believe, and that is that it’s not the economic or practical viability of green building practices that are in question, it’s the challenge of convincing big builders of that. This is particularly true in China, Malaysia, Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan, where urban development and industry is expanding, with a burgeoning construction industry in place which supports that rapid expansion.
It seems that it’s decision making time. Do builders embrace the myths to avoid having to change traditional methods of building? Or do they come to understand that green building is the best way of preserving economies as well as environments, with greater energy efficiency giving them greater returns on investment as well as a great positive impact on the damaging effects of global climate change?
The future is uncertain. But luckily, the voices of reason are still as loud as ever.