The U.S. Green Building Council states that we consume, on an annual basis, resources equivalent to 1.5 Earths to meet the needs of everyday life; by 2030, we will consume resources equivalent to 2 Earths. With the global population increasing, conserving resources is becoming ever-more important, and buildings play an integral role.
Sustainability is about more than just recycling and improving your building’s energy efficiency. According to the National Institute of Building Sciences, “The main objectives of sustainable building upgrades are to reduce, or completely avoid depletion of critical resources like energy, water, and raw materials; reduce or prevent environmental degradation caused by facilities and infrastructure throughout their life cycle, and create building environments that are comfortable, safe, and productive.”
This section of the Building Owner’s Toolkit will provide you with the tools to self-assess your building’s sustainability and will offer suggestions for improvement.