Determining Architecture's Footprint: Preliminary Methods for Measuring the True Environmental Impact of Buildings

Blaine Erickson Brownell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Current approaches to designing sustainable buildings are inadequate for meeting environmental goals. Buildings continue to consume nearly half of all resources, and architects, engineers, and contractors remain complicit in their deficient environmental performance—as well as the consequential global overshoot of resource consumption. It is imperative that the AEC industry pursue an alternative approach to green rating systems with the intent to determine measurable, absolute outcomes. The most appropriate existing model is the ecological footprint (EF) method devised by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees at the University of British Columbia in the early 1990s. EF quantifies the human demand on the environment in terms of both resources and waste, translating these impacts into land area equivalents. This chapter aims to evaluate EF methodology for buildings by analyzing existing models and proposing new approaches while identifying their respective opportunities and limitations.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReusable and Sustainable Building Materials in Modern Architecture
EditorsGülşah Koç, Bryan Christiansen
PublisherIGI Global Publishing
Pages28-59
ISBN (Electronic)9781522569961
ISBN (Print)9781522569954
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameReusable and Sustainable Building Materials in Modern Architecture
ISSN (Print)2326-6139
ISSN (Electronic)2326-6155

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