In a world where we take its resources to create our future, many people have brought it upon themselves to be grateful and give a bit back. It is no secret that the topic of climate change is fickle, and has no doubt affected our lives. Producing a brighter tomorrow through greener methods has become a trending topic around the globe. Numerous people, both in large-scale companies and as individual consumers, are making the conscious choice of living an eco-friendly lifestyle. This includes reducing waste, spreading awareness, and taking the practice of ‘reduce, reuse, and recycle’ seriously.

In the construction industry, it pays to start big. According to the World Green Building Trends 2018 SmartMarket Report, green building is trending across the industry in an effort to shift towards sustainability. It is reported that sustainably designed buildings function better due to lower operational costs and improved energy performance. These structures are also less dependent on fossil fuels and therefore, reduces the carbon footprint it leaves behind. Its eco-friendly design influences its functionalities, and therefore becomes less of a burden to earth. Its benefits act as its allure, and studies have shown that affected buildings improved its occupants’ health and well-being. It even induces passive social effects that increases contentedness and productivity amongst denizens and workers.

There are numerous countries showcasing structures that boast excellence in design and sustainability. For example, the ACROS Fukuoka Foundation Building of Japan is renowned for its mesmerizing combination of architectural merit and greenery. The Crystal of the United Kingdom features the use of smart lighting technology and rainwater recycling methods. 

Exciting as these seem, the attitude towards sustainable building is mixed worldwide.

The US has seen moderate growth when it comes to sustainable building. The trend has spread throughout most states, often challenged by concerns of affordability over long-term significance, sentiments shared by some countries, including Canada and Saudi Arabia. Another hindrance is the never-ending lack of political support and dismal public awareness. Cost and support shortcomings have always been echoed as obstacles when it comes to reforming unethical practices. 

European nations, on the other hand, are committing themselves to reduce their carbon emissions while promoting eco-friendly living. Meanwhile, there is an uptick of green building with African nations, with lower operating costs being seen as the driving force for its promotion. This is also thanks to the rising market interest in the movement, along with the efforts of the Green Building Council of South Africa. 

Asia has seen Singapore become one of the leading countries in green building thanks to its environmental regulations. The practice is ingrained early into its Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Academy. The BCA holds courses with an emphasis on green technology. The school’s building itself was retrofitted to be net-zero energy by a local firm, DP Architects. The demand for green buildings is also seen within Hong Kong and China, the latter making serious efforts to reduce its environmental issues in general.

When it comes to the Philippines, the country is slowly adapting to the cause, thanks to its increase in solar adoption and the maintenance of eco-friendly buildings in Manila. Non-profit organizations like the Philippine Green Building Council and the Philippine Green Building Initiative have taken steps to promote awareness of climate change while advocating for sustainable building techniques, designs, and standards. Architects and developers have also done their part in the development of green commercial and residential structures, and have even worked to adhere to LEED-certified methods.

The curtains are drawn for sustainable building to enter the worldwide stage. Will it stay and change the world for the better, or will it fall into irrelevance? At present, it would seem that every country is becoming conscious of their actions. Some have made efforts to lessen their contribution to global warming, others still have obstacles to jump over. To say that “only time will tell” is easier said than done, and it would be far beneficial to the planet if actions speak louder than words. Even if you are not in the business of constructing green structures, do your part and spread the positivity. The greatest efforts start with the smallest actions.

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