"Buildings can play a key role in combating climate change," the U.N. Environment Program said in a report issued in Oslo during a conference on ways to promote economic growth without damaging the environment. Simple measures include more blinds to keep out the sun in hot climates, switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs, better insulation and ventilation. "Avoid building a bigger house than you need," was among the tips.
It also recommended refurbishing old buildings rather than demolishing them and designing new buildings for long use. The report also said there were other factors to keep in mind--even gender. Some studies have shown women prefer higher room temperatures than men, even when wearing similarly thick clothing. ::CNET Read the entire report (7 mb pdf) here