It’s Time to Talk About Sustainability
By Nicholas Johnson
Kahua Chief Evangelist
We are all aware that the world’s climate is changing. I suppose it has always been changing. We don’t have to debate what’s causing the change to recognize that it could have a harsh impact on humanity. And if we can agree on that, we should all do what we can to help improve the possibilities for a better future.
According to a report by the World Green Building Council, the construction industry accounts for 39% of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. It is estimated that by 2050, the sector will consume 230 billion tons of raw materials annually, which is more than double the amount consumed in 2010. Additionally, construction and demolition waste accounts for around 40% of the world’s total waste generation. These are the hard facts.
However, there are many examples of sustainable practices being implemented in the construction industry. For instance, the Bullitt Center in Seattle is considered one of the greenest commercial buildings in the world. It features a rainwater harvesting system, a solar panel array and composting toilets, among other sustainable features. The Bullitt Center is designed to be net-zero energy, meaning it generates as much energy as it consumes.
Another example is the Bosco Verticale, or “Vertical Forest,” in Milan, Italy. The building features two high-rise towers with over 900 trees and 20,000 plants, providing numerous environmental benefits such as air purification, noise reduction and thermal insulation. The project won the 2015 International Highrise Award for its innovative design and sustainability features.
The use of sustainable materials is also becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry. For example, bamboo is a renewable resource that is now being used to create sustainable buildings. The Bamboo Sports Hall for the Panyaden International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, is an excellent example of the potential contained in the world’s fastest growing grass (which happens to be harder than oak!). The hall features a bamboo frame and cladding, and its design incorporates natural ventilation and cooling.
There is a lot we can do to do our part. Join Kahua as we team up with KPMG on March 28 for a lively discussion on sustainability in the construction industry. You’ll hear from industry experts and gain insights you can bring back to your projects.
Join Nicholas Johnson as he moderates this sustainability webinar. Since mid-2021, he has served as the Chief Evangelist for Kahua. He has over 40 years’ experience in the design and construction industry. He began his career as an electrical designer and drafter, which led to a role in construction IT, and then sales leadership in several leading construction project management software companies.