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The Greening of AsiaThe Business Case for Solving Asia’s Environmental Emergency$
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Mark Clifford

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166089

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166089.001.0001

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Buildings for a Greener Asia

Buildings for a Greener Asia

(p.90) 4 Buildings for a Greener Asia
The Greening of Asia

Mark L. Clifford

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the effects of high-rise buildings on the environment, and the construction of more sustainable buildings. As of mid-2014, 46 of the 50 tallest buildings are under construction in Asia, putting enormous strains on its energy infrastructure. The energy used in operating buildings—heating, cooling, and lighting—alone accounts for more than one third of global energy use and of total CO2 emissions. Including the energy used to produce and transport the concrete, steel, and glass, buildings account for over 40 percent of total energy consumption globally. With China responsible for more than half of the floor space built annually in the world, more energy-efficient buildings are the most cost-effective way to address energy and environmental challenges; the same is true throughout developing Asia. The Natural Resources Defense Council calculates that in China, green buildings can cut electricity use by 25 to 50 percent, water use by 40 percent, and solid waste by 70 percent, when compared to a conventional building.

Keywords:   buildings, sustainable buildings, Asia, energy infrastructure, global energy use, CO2 emissions, energy-efficient buildings, Natural Resources Defense Council, green buildings

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