Scandinavian countries lead the way in sustainable architecture
In recent years it has become increasingly clear that the construction industry has a huge impact on the environment. It plays an important key role when it comes to achieving greater sustainability and acting in a more environmentally friendly manner. A concrete example of this is provided by information from an American architects’ institute, which has announced that around 40% of energy in the USA is consumed by buildings.
Numerous countries have therefore taken on the task of making some significant changes in the construction sector and complying with sustainable architecture. In the Scandinavian countries in particular, it can already be said today – New buildings are environmentally friendly. However, we took a closer look at what it looks like in other countries and what environmentally friendly architecture is being strived for.
Denmark and Sweden work specifically with existing resources
The Nordic countries have long been pioneers in terms of environmental friendliness and sustainability. This is not only due to their advantageous geological location and the associated access to sustainable sources, but also to the fact that they show their brains and work specifically on – or with – the problems. In Denmark, for example, 30% of all waste is allocated to construction. The Danes are making short work of this and have found the solution to simply recycling building materials instead of always having to use new ones.
Sweden, on the other hand, exploits its rich source of wood and uses the sustainable material for new buildings and renovations. Sustainable architecture is so advanced here that one can concentrate fully on making the necessary construction procedures, such as transport, sustainable.
Germany has lost its pioneering role
Germany has held a very good position for a long time and has been a model for other countries with many sustainable technologies. The very first passive house in the world was even built in Germany. Today, however, the reality is that 35% of energy consumption in the country still comes from buildings, as does 30% of CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, fixed goals were not achieved, which is why people are now lagging behind when it comes to climate-friendliness.
Germany wants to become climate neutral by 2050. The challenges weren’t too great. However, the good news is that oil heating will be banned as early as 2026 and that there are many government grants for owners who want to renovate their houses or apartments in a sustainable manner.
Australia works with a star system
In Australia, it is not enough for the construction industry to only deal with general sustainable changes; they also have to struggle with varying climatic conditions and landscape requirements. A standardization of sustainable architecture is not possible in such a large country as this one; however, measures must be adapted depending on the local conditions.
However, Australia is doing really well in this area. The so-called Green Star rating system was introduced, through which the sustainability of a building is rated. This has provided a really good incentive and lets contractors proceed more consciously. In order to achieve a good rating, a number of criteria must be met that are geared towards the local climatic conditions. For example, it is about construction methods, building materials and design, in which shade, sun, wind and air are optimally taken into account and used as natural sources.
Is the world on the right track?
It is quite difficult to assess the topic of sustainable construction globally as a whole. Due to the widely varying social, geological and economic aspects of the different countries, very different demands are made on them. Obviously, not every country has the same impact on our environment.
Basically, there are a number of countries that are doing really well and implementing climate goals. There is also positive news from emerging countries, especially since sustainability is a traditional way of life in many developing countries. At the same time, there are still enough countries that are far from their climate targets. Much more could certainly be done and work on the implementation of sustainable architecture, especially since the construction sector, as mentioned, is particularly harmful to the environment.
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