World Green Building Week 2020: What you should know

21 September 2020

You’re probably well aware of the impact that your personal choices have on the state of the environment. From what you eat to how you recycle, everything you do adds up to a big impact, and global sustainability efforts demand your help in order to be successful.

In addition to our everyday activities, the very spaces we inhabit — like our homes, workplaces, schools, shops and more — can affect the environment in very consequential ways, especially when it comes to energy use and carbon emissions.

A 2019 report from the International Energy Agency and the United Nations Environment Programme concluded that construction and building operation accounted for 36% of the world’s total energy usage and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. For comparison, transport accounted for just 23% of carbon dioxide emissions that came from energy.

Green buildings are an integral part of environmental sustainability. That’s why the World Green Building Council sponsors an annual event called World Green Building Week. This year, events will take place across the world to #ActOnClimate from 21 to 25 September.

Read on to learn more about green buildings, and how net-zero carbon buildings are instrumental in tackling the climate crisis.

Green design principles help produce more environmentally sustainable buildings.

The net-zero carbon movement

Zero may just be the most popular number for eco-friendly individuals. After all, zero waste practitioners have taught us the value of setting ambitious goals to reach important environmental targets. Likewise, proponents of the worldwide net-zero carbon movement acknowledge that, in order to halt climate change, we must eliminate carbon emissions wherever possible, balancing them out with countermeasures when necessary.

Areas in need of a net-zero upgrade

A massive project like decarbonisation will need to focus its attention on specific sectors and take a targeted approach in order to achieve its desired outcomes. A March 2020 report from ClimateWorks Australia identified five sectors in need of specific interventions, and one of them is buildings.

Planting vegetation can help offset some of the carbon emissions produced by new construction.

What role do green buildings play in net-zero initiatives?

Considering that the initial construction of buildings and their continued operation represents such a large proportion of global carbon emissions, green buildings designed and developed according to net-zero standards can produce big results for the climate.

Green building strategies

Some of the techniques used for green buildings will seem familiar to anybody who’s ever tried to lower their heating bill by being more efficient. The key difference is that green buildings rely on being designed and built to be environmentally friendly from the beginning.

The World Green Building Council outlined several strategies underlying green building construction and operation, including:

  • Using design processes that minimise energy consumption throughout the building’s entire lifespan, from construction to eventual demolition.
  • Implementing efforts that promote the efficient use and disposal of energy, water and waste.
  • Enhancing air, light and acoustic qualities for building inhabitants through natural strategies.
  • Incorporating sustainable outdoor spaces and choosing construction sites to help improve polluted areas.
  • Ensuring the building can be adapted to multiple purposes throughout the years, limiting the circumstances under which it would otherwise be demolished.
  • Integrating the building into the community in a way that promotes sustainable urban design.

Green Building Week 2020

From 21-25 September, events across the globe will be held in recognition of Green Building Week. The World Green Building Council is seeking to promote the benefits of net-zero buildings for communities, the planet and economies. Investing in green buildings can translate to job creation, healthier neighbourhoods and, of course, a more sustainable future for the climate.

To get a sense of the events taking place across the world, check out the international schedule of events on The World Green Building Council’s website. You can also find a list of resources for learning more about green buildings, sharing the message and participating in net-zero initiatives within your local community.

Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment Signatories and the actions we’re taking

In May 2019, it was announced that LGS joined more than 50 signatories agreeing to transition to net-zero carbon portfolios of buildings by 2030. As a member of the Australian chapter of the Green Building Council, we’re committed to sustainability on all fronts, including our investment holdings. LGS proudly manages one of the most sustainable direct property portfolios in Australia; our property portfolio is the first portfolio in Australia to receive a Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) 5-Star Green Star rating and was awarded 5-Stars in the 2018 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Survey.

Learn more about our property portfolio and our approach to responsible investment.

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