March 26, 2023

Sponsored Article
Sponsored: Lone explores the benefits of a holistic approach to sustainable design, and how we can build a more sustainable future.
By Lone Feifer
September 8, 2022
This article is sponsored by VELUX
The U.S. construction industry has a key role to play in ensuring global warming does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius, with the built environment accounting for 40 percent of the world’s global GHG emissions and residential buildings alone being responsible for 20 percent of global emissions. The urgency to take a closer look at the built environment has particularly increased following the U.S.’s return to the Paris Agreement, and in the wake of the Inflation Reduction Act, which has brought U.S. energy consumption and emissions into the spotlight.
The complexity of reducing the sector’s emissions is a result of the need to strike a balance between meeting housing demand and prioritizing a sustainable environment. This is further compounded by the need to decarbonize buildings at all stages of the construction lifecycle. One that tackles embodied carbon, operational carbon and end-of-life carbon. The global nature of the industry means any solution will have to be rapidly scalable and will require collaboration across global supply chains.
However, decarbonizing buildings should not be the only topic at the forefront of this industry movement. Our approach needs to be more holistic. One that encourages a symbiotic relationship between people and planet. The global challenges we are facing today are galvanizing ambitions for a new standard of building, and to help balance people and planet. VELUX, the global roof window manufacturer, has developed a project rooted in a commitment to balance the goal of decarbonizing buildings, with creating a happy and healthy community for people to live.
Living Places will showcase solutions that lower carbon emissions and provide healthy homes and communities. Image courtesy of VELUX

In 2023, Copenhagen will take on the title of the World Capital of Architecture as VELUX unveils its Living Places project in the newly celebrated city in collaboration with EFFEKT architects, MOE engineers and Enemærke & Petersen contractors. Living Places is a new way of thinking about homes and places and will showcase 1:1 solutions that lower carbon emissions and provide healthy homes and communities. Demonstrating that we do not have to wait for future technology to shift the built environment into a responsible and regenerative position, this new way of thinking focuses on using simple building systems that require little maintenance with easy upgrades and repairs. It balances decarbonizing buildings with a well-designed and adaptable home for the community and this is the direction the industry should be moving into. Living Places demonstrates that we already have all the technology we need to build healthily and sustainably.
VELUX will unveil its Living Places project in Copenhagen in 2023. Image courtesy of VELUX

VELUX wants to encourage a systemic shift in architecture and design, inspiring urban planners to be more mindful of how cities, buildings and places are being built. A shift that meets decarbonization goals yet offers people a healthy environment to live in. The company’s Build for Life concept offers a compass to help designers, city planners and building professionals in this industry make this shift. The blueprint for a more sustainable way of living is tailored around seven core principles, all of which should work together and not in a silo:
Additionally, indoor climates play a huge role in an individual’s health. Indoor climate hazards such as noise, dampness, and lack of heat are affecting many households across the globe. These areas must be addressed to create happy, healthy and sustainable homes of the future. To support this, data from the Healthy Homes Barometer 2022, an annual research based report, shows the value of renovation on health, happiness and improved environmental footprint. By investing in the renovation of the building stock, politicians have the opportunity to not just invest in the health of citizens but the economy too.
Buildings of the future need a holistic approach, one that balances the necessary juggling act of decarbonization, creating healthy homes and meeting the increasing demand for housing. The construction and built environment industry has a window of opportunity to address this, and we can reach our climate goals using simple principles. Acting now is the best course of action to ensure we build a more sustainable future.
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