From: Cambridge University Press
Published October 30, 2017 11:43 AM

Building a Sustainable Future: Urgent Action Needed

We need to act urgently to increase the energy efficiency of our buildings as the world’s emerging middle classes put increasing demands on our planet’s energy resources. These are the findings of a new report, published in MRS Energy & Sustainability by authors Matthias M. Koebel, Jannis Wernery and Wim J. Malfait.

The scientists from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology argue that increasing demands for “thermal comfort” from the flourishing middle classes in countries like China, Brazil and India could pose an enormous global challenge – unless efficient and sustainable solutions for existing and new building stock are implemented as a matter of urgency.

Buildings already account for up to 40% of our global energy demands. New solutions are continually being developed to help homes and workplaces become more energy efficient – from airtight envelopes and superinsulation materials to integrated photovoltaic panels. When combined with user behavior, these solutions can help to reduce the energy consumption of our buildings by a factor of three.

However, the authors argue that huge variations in climate, economic power, building traditions and – perhaps most importantly – public perception and attitude towards climate change, have resulted in vastly different adoption rates of new building materials and technologies in countries around the world.

Read more at Cambridge University Press

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