US Buildings Account for 40% of Energy and Materials Use

Building Impacts image

Whilst unearthing stuff for another article I turned over a stone that revealed some rather startling figures about the environmental impact of the built environment. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the guys who manage the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) rating system, came up the following figures:

In the United States alone, buildings account for:
• 72% of electricity consumption,
• 39% of energy use,
• 38% of all carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions,
• 40% of raw materials use,
• 30% of waste output (136 million tons annually), and
• 14% of potable water consumption.I guess the good news is that they also point to a report Green Outlook 2009: Trends Driving Change, in which the "overall green building market [US] (both non-residential and residential) is likely to more than double from today's $36-49 billion to $96-140 billion by 2013"

And why is this a cheerier prospect? Because the USGBC figure that green building can reduce:
Energy use by 24 - 50%
CO2 Emissions by 33 - 39%
Water Use - 40%
Solid Waste - 70%

See their Building Impacts powerpoint presentation for more.

:: USGBC Green Building Research via web visit.

Image: USGBC
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