One of the most overlooked sources of greenhouse gas emissions is in buildings. The energy that goes into constructing buildings, the materials that go into it, and the heating and cooling systems used by buildings all add up to a whole lot of emissions.
In 2018, the World Green Building Council (WGBC), a non-profit organization dedicated to holding the construction industry to the goals of the Paris Climate Accord, created the Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, which pushes cities and architecture firms to make all new buildings net zero carbon by 2030. A collection of 23 cities, including London and Tokyo, have already signed the commitment, but now the first architecture practice has signed up: Fosters + Partners.
Beyond making all new buildings in their portfolios net zero carbon for 2030, the Norman Foster-led studio also commits to upgrading their existing buildings by 2050. That’s a big deal considering Norman + Fosters is no small fish in the world of architecture. The practice, which already built the most sustainable office building in the world, is currently master-planning a sustainable state capital city in India.