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Paving the Way to Zero-Carbon Cities through Building Codes Part 1

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Reducing the construction industry’s carbon footprint is a steep challenge that will require contractors and construction materials suppliers to come together and work out solutions to this pressing issue. One example of such a gathering is “Greenbuild,” wherein nearly 20,000 attendees from the architecture, commercial development, academia, and advocacy communities come together each year to discuss ideas that can help the construction industry embrace more sustainable practices.

In this two-part series, the Charlotte construction law firm at Cotney Construction Law will discuss how innovators in the construction industry are looking to pave the way to zero-carbon cities in the near future. What is the key to achieving this goal? Surprisingly, the answer isn’t necessarily new technology; it’s building codes.

The Goal of Zero-Carbon Cities

Improving the health and well-being of construction professionals and the general population is one of the most important reasons why the construction industry is seeking out ways to reduce its carbon footprint. No matter your stance on climate change, it has become readily apparent that as a global population, we need to do more to keep our planet healthy. In many cases, manufacturing and construction companies find themselves straddling the line between sustainable practices and profit.

Working on both sides of the same coin can create a logistical nightmare for contractors and managers, but if the industry fails to pursue sustainability, the long-term ramifications will create debilitating conditions for the industry’s future. The grim reality is that achieving zero-carbon cities isn’t simply a smart idea, it’s compulsory.

Important Considerations for the Construction Industry

According to the United Nations, the global urban population will increase by an estimated 2.5 billion people by 2050. In addition, the global building square footage is projected to double in that same timeframe. Currently, developers in global cities like Zurich are “building up,” investing in skyscrapers to curtail urban sprawl and improve sustainability. Currently, buildings contribute to over one-third of global energy use and roughly 50 percent of urban greenhouse gas emissions can be traced back to buildings. In major cities like New York City, Chicago, and London, this figure can exceed 70 percent. As the population grows, the demand for new urban developments will increase and the consumption of energy along with it.

Therefore, it is imperative that global communities enforce new building codes to help guide development toward a more sustainable, economically friendly future. Building codes can plot the course toward sustainability and zero emissions if they are drafted early, implemented deliberately, and enforced strongly.

To learn more about how building codes can lead to more sustainable construction, read part two.

If you would like to speak with a Charlotte construction lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.