Architects, contractors, developers and agents underestimate carbon usage from the built environment according to a new survey
Building professionals in the world’s largest producers of CO2 are ill-informed about the amount of CO2 that buildings are responsible for, with Americans the most ignorant of the their environmental impact.
Architects, agents, developers and contractors in the US thought that buildings were responsible for just 12% of CO2 emissions, whereas the real result is closer to 40%.
The questionnaire was carried out by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) for a report published today. Respondents in seven other countries (not including the UK) did little better. The overall guess was 19%.
Building professionals were not well informed about the basic facts and require increased know-how and leadership to take action
When 1,423 building professionals – architects, agents, developers, contractors – in eight countries were asked: “What percentage of CO2 emissions do you think buildings give rise to – directly and indirectly?” responses ranged from 12% (the US) to just 30% (Spain) and Germany next on 23%. At the bottom, China and Japan tied with 20%, then came Brazil with 19% followed by India 15%.
A spokesman for the WBCSD said: “Building professionals were not well informed about the basic facts and require increased know-how and leadership to take action.”
Conversely, the report found that the construction community overestimated the cost of creating a sustainable building by as much as 23% (China). Building professionals from the People’s Republic said the amount was 28% whereas the amount is closer to 5%, claims the WBCSD – although it admitted it might be more in developing countries. Brazil thought the cost-extra was 22% while Spain assumed it was 19%.
To access the results go to The full WBCSD report