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Texas   /   April 27, 2021

Lisa Brown
By: Lisa Brown

Gensler’s Goal is Designing Net Carbon Zero Buildings by 2030

Buildings account for 36 percent of global energy use, therefore addressing the built environment’s impact on climate change is both a moral and business imperative. Gensler Research Institute’s report Climate Action Through Design outlines the necessary investment required for the built environment to be resilient and positively contribute to marginalized communities.

Its approach to fulfilling this goal will include four primary tactics:

  • Pursue efficiency strategies from day one. Optimizing energy use is crucial to reducing the carbon impact of the built environment.
  • Use low-impact low-carbon materials. Harvesting, manufacturing and transporting the raw materials used in building construction are responsible for 11 percent of global GHG emissions.
  • Work with climate and context. The latest estimates show that $135 billion in commercial and residential real estate nationwide are under threat of being compromised by 2045 due to rising sea levels. Gensler explores solutions to mitigate the risk of rising water and manage extreme heat.
  • Build only when necessary – and only as much as needed. Renovating existing buildings reduces the carbon associated with new materials as well as the amount of debris going to landfill. EPA research shows that deconstruction rather than demolition can save up to 90 percent of a building’s materials.
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About the Author

Lisa Brown has more than 30 years of experience in corporate communications and marketing management with organizations including Grubb & Ellis, Marcus & Millichap and NAIOP.
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