Re-inventing Construction: Proceedings of the Holcim Forum for Sustainable Construction 2010

20 REDUCE CO 2 It is amazing how society tends to overlook the environmental im- pact of buildings. Smokestacks, tailpipes, and garbage are all out in the open to see, but behind the esthetics of even the most beau- tiful building lies a silent demon. That demon is the generation of CO 2  emissions due to inefficient building operation, excessive mate- rial demand, and creation of unnecessary waste. Buildings play a significant role in generation of anthropogenic CO 2 emissions. In fact, buildings are directly or indirectly respon- sible for over half of all global CO 2 emissions. This is remarkable considering the wide variety of solutions available in the building sector to reduce energy consumption and CO 2 emissions. There are many ways that we can reduce CO 2 with technology to zero emissions. Not only that, but buildings provide some of the lowest hang- ing fruit when it comes to the cost of reducing CO 2 emissions. By utilizing integrated design and more intelligent systems, zero emis- sion buildings would be a reality without significant extra costs. New design methods, analysis tools, and technologies are being re- searched and created all over the globe to facilitate this necessary shift to zero emission buildings. In some places the social and politi- cal obstacles for implementation may be high, but nevertheless, the