Report targets building industry energy reduction

Buildings are the cause of more CO2 emissions than cars.
Buildings are the cause of more CO2 emissions than cars.
The sustainability movement sweeping the building and construction industry is shining a spotlight on energy waste caused by inefficient buildings.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), in a new report released today, said the broader construction and construction equipment industry can achieve a 60 percent reduction in the energy use of buildings by 2050.

In its report, Transforming the Market: Energy Efficiency in Buildings, the WBCSD said the building sector must undergo a transformation through a combination of public policies, technological innovation, informed customer choices and smart business decisions.

United Technologies Corp. (UTC) and Lafarge, which co-chaired the study, presented the report in Paris today at the Alliance to Save Energy's EE Global Forum and Exposition, UTC said.

"Buildings worldwide account for a surprisingly high 40 percent of global energy consumption and the resulting carbon footprint, significantly exceeding those of all transportation combined," said UTC chairman George David.

Unlike other industries that must undergo a more radical departure from past practices, the construction industry has at its disposal technologies and products to make buildings more energy efficient today, David said.

"We have the capacity to reduce the carbon footprints of buildings by half over a decade and with reasonable financial returns," he added.