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World Green Building Week 2017 to place efficient, clean buildings in the limelight

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The annual World Green Building Week – running Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 – empowers the building community to deliver green buildings

The Datacom building features a green wall

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With the environment and climate top of mind concerns for many, events like the upcoming World Green Building Week are more important than ever before. This is an annual week designed to encourage the global building community to focus on delivering green buildings for everyone, everywhere.

As the World Green Building Council (WGBC) notes, "Buildings can be heroes in the fight against climate change - and so can you."

According to the WGBC, buildings account for over a third of the worlds’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Information from the World Green Building Council

What are net zero buildings?

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Net zero buildings are highly energy-efficient buildings which generate or supply the energy they need to operate from renewable sources – like solar energy - to achieve net zero carbon emissions. They are the homes, offices, shops, stadiums and theatres of the future.

But net zero buildings aren’t only about carbon emissions and energy. We recognise that the term “net zero” can be applied to water and waste, and can be used in reference to these during the operation of a building (e.g. operating emissions) or across the whole lifecycle of a building, from the extraction of raw materials to deconstruction and disposal (e.g. embodied carbon).

Why is the shift to net zero important?

If we continue to emit greenhouse gases at current rates, we are headed for a world where global temperature rises will exceed two degrees. Keeping the temperature rise below two degrees, within the limits set out in the Paris Agreement, means we avoid the most extreme impacts of climate change.

In order to achieve this target, we have set two goals:

1.All new buildings must operate at net zero carbon from 2030
2. 100% of buildings – new and existing - must operate at net zero carbon by 2050

We recognise that this is not easy and will not happen over night, and we applaud all efforts on green buildings – not just those on net zero - that help us on our journey to a net zero carbon built environment by 2050.

In Europe for example, countries must legally ensure that all new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities are “nearly zero energy” from 2019 onwards. In this region, the debate has focused on “nearly zero energy buildings” as opposed to strictly net zero carbon buildings. But nearly zero energy buildings are a critical step towards achieving the 2050 target.

For more information on nearly zero energy buildings, see this European Commission guidance.

Our report From Thousands to Billions includes more information on why we must ensure every building is net zero emissions by 2050. This was released under the Advancing Net Zero project, which is sponsored by Integral Group, Lendlease and ROCKWOOL.

About the World Green building Council

The WGBC is a global network of Green Building Councils which is transforming the places we live, work, play, heal and learn.

We believe green buildings can and must be at the centre of our lives. Our changing climate means we must reshape the way we grow and build, enabling people to thrive both today and tomorrow.

We take action - championing local and global leadership, and empowering our community to drive change. Together, we are greater than the sum of our parts, and commit to green buildings for everyone, everywhere.

Find out more about World Green Building Week


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