Buildings and construction are responsible for 39 percent of the carbon emissions in the world. Operational emissions, meaning the energy required to heat, cool, or light a building, account for 28 percent of overall emissions.
Over the last decades, natural disasters have been growing in strength and frequency as a result of climate change. The number of weather-related disasters has tripled over the previous 30 years. Furthermore, among the 20,000 earthquakes that shake the world every year, about 16 are in the magnitude of seven or higher.
Around a billion people worldwide live in slums, informal settlements typically populated by the urban poor. These residents represent a third of the global urban population and drive over 90 percent of its growth. By 2030, there'll be two billion slum dwellers, residing primarily in Asian and African countries.
Cutting carbon emissions and pollution is only one side of sustainability - although they tend to get the most attention. Sustainability is really about development and growth in an eco-friendly and socially equitable manner. Thanks to smart technologies from the fourth industrial revolution - or Industry 4.0 - sectors like construction and manufacturing can now truly enter a sustainable era.
From the Arabian peninsula to the Southern United States, more than a billion people live in desert regions and experience extreme temperatures. These desert communities see very little rainfall, and regular dust storms.
Buildings are to blame, in part, for today's staggering rates of global warming. As they constitute a whopping 39 percent of the worldwide carbon emissions, it's not possible to stop the catastrophic temperature rise without making buildings greener. Luckily, the proliferation of net-zero energy construction is doing exactly that, turning this environmental liability into an opportunity.
Whether in direct or indirect ways, all the human lives on the planet depend on forests. Yet, particularly with the rise of industrialization, millions of hectares of forests become depleted due to unsustainable human consumption every year. Since the earliest human settlements, timber has been one of the most popular construction materials.
Creating homes and structures from scratch is a rewarding career path for many. However, working in construction has unique risks and stressors. Exposure to harmful chemicals, constant loud noise, handling heavy loads, and potential hazards such as falling from a high place or electric shocks are among the daily risks for millions who work on construction sites.
As a resource-intensive industry, construction has a notoriously high environmental impact: According to some estimates, it accounts for up to 40 percent of the global carbon emissions. The sector is also a significant source of pollutants. The World Bank states that the construction waste will increase by 70 percent by 2050 unless there's urgent action.
"Where are all the female architects?" Allison Arieff, a design and architecture writer, questioned in a 2018 opinion piece for the New York Times. "Nearly half of architecture students are women. Why are so few sticking with the industry after graduation?"
Following its rapid rise from a humble fishing village to an ultra-modern metropolis, Dubai is a city of superlatives: It's home to the world's tallest building, biggest shopping mall, largest picture frame, or the most capacious indoor skiing center.
Since the ancient civilizations started to build cities, urban landscapes evolved parallel to the gender roles, associating public spaces with men, and the private sphere with women. However, in the late 20th century, as the global urban population continued to boom, spatial researchers began to emphasize the importance of a gender-sensitive approach to urban planning.