U.S. Green Building Council Urges China to Build Green

U.S. Green Building Council Urges China to Build Green

At the third International Conference on Intelligent Green and Energy Efficient Building and New Technologies in Beijing, Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council called on industry leaders in China to build only green developments.

"This is not a 'nice to do,' -- It's an absolute must," Fedrizzi said, citing negative impacts that climate change is already having on the earth. "But by using and pioneering smart, green strategies for growth, China will be able to fuel its exponential rise far into the future and set an example for the world."

Fedrizzi noted key reasons for green building. The first is the positive impact of green buildings on the world’s energy and carbon problems. “Energy efficiency is less expensive than building new power plants,” he said, applauding China’s aggressive efforts to balance its economic development targets, diversify its energy sources and increase energy efficiency.

Fedrizzi said another key reason is because of the impact green building can have on improving human health and productivity. “When we spend, on average, 90 percent of four days indoors, shouldn’t we spend them in green buildings?” he asked.

Green building can also foster innovation, the cornerstone of a growing economy, Fedrizzi said. He noted that the bigger challenge is transferring knowledge and technology across the global building industry. To spur this, green building councils could be created throughout the world, encouraging energy-efficient building though programs similar to the USGBC’s Leadership and Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.

Fedrizzi said that several individuals and organizations are helping to increase green building in China, such as Qui Baoxing, the country’s minister of constructing, who is overseeing a major rebuilding effort; and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, which plans to implement green building practices while developing the Olympic Village.

In closing, Fedrizzi asked China to “leave with the commitment to spread the word that green buildings matter because they have an immediate and measurable impact on saving energy, limiting the natural resources we use and reducing carbon emissions that cause climate change.”

This article originally appeared in Multi-Housing News and is reprinted here with permission.