The global human population has doubled from 3.5 billion to 7 billion within our own lifetimes. We are conscious of the ever increasing pressures population growth places on society, resources, infrastructure and the environment. The human race has a responsibility to the future generations of all life on Earth. We need to learn how to do more with less. In the construction industry we need to aim to achieve buildings that are not just sustainable, but productive: buildings that contribute positively to their surroundings.
Buildings can achieve the following with some thought, careful design and existing technologies:
"Buildings have a significant impact on the environment, consuming 32% of the world's resources including 12% of its water and up to 40% of its energy. Buildings also produce 40% of all waste going to landfill, and 40% of air emissions." (Green Building Council of Australia, Green Star office design V2, 2007)
As a very real and quantifiable example of the benefits of building sustainably, a recent audit by the Green Building Council of Australia determined that on average, Green Star-certified buildings produce 45% fewer greenhouse gas emissions and consume 50% less electricity than new buildings designed and constructed to meet the National Construction Code requirements. Green Star buildings also use 51% less potable water than average buildings. (Green Building Council of Australia, The Value of Green Star: A decade of environmental benefits 2013)
Green Star is a comprehensive, national, voluntary environmental rating system that evaluates the environmental design and construction of buildings and communities. Belinda is a Green Star rated professional.