The Greening of Buildings, 2013-2025

  • Sept. 11, 2019, 4:00 pm US/Central
  • Prof. Robert Knapp, Evergreen State College
  • Pushpa Bhat
  • Video

The building sector is a key locus for promoting sustainability, given that it accounts for more than 40% of US energy use and a similar proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. Recent activity has centered on the “net-zero” target—buildings producing more energy each year than they use. 2013 saw the opening of Seattle’s Bullitt Center, a six-story net-zero office building in the cloudiest US city. After outlining the combination of technical and organizational moves responsible for this landmark and its several cousins, the talk will address the near future: what are technical and social prospects and limits for sustainable energy and materials use in buildings? Three specific inventions would make a difference.