Books

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“Green” buildings—buildings that use fewer resources to build and to sustain—are commonly thought to be too expensive to attract builders and buyers. But are they? The answer to this question has enormous consequences, since residential and commercial buildings together account for nearly 50% of American energy consumption—including at least 75% of electricity usage—according to recent government statistics.
 
This eye-opening book reports the results of a large-scale study based on extensive financial and technical analyses of more than 150 green buildings in the U.S. and ten other countries. It provides detailed findings on the costs and financial benefits of building green. According to the study, green buildings cost roughly 2% more to build than conventional buildings—far less than previously assumed—and provide a wide range of financial, health and social benefits. In addition, green buildings reduce energy use by an average of 33%, resulting in significant cost savings.
 
Greening Our Built World also evaluates the cost effectiveness of “green community development” and presents the results of the first-ever survey of green buildings constructed by faith-based organizations. Throughout the book, leading practitioners in green design—including architects, developers, and property owners—share their own experiences in building green. A compelling combination of rock-solid facts and specific examples, this book proves that green design is both cost-effective and earth-friendly.

Can A City Be Sustainable? (State of the World)
Publisher: The Worldwatch Institute

Cities are the world’s future. Today, more than half of the global population—3.7 billion people—are urban dwellers, and that number is expected to double by 2050. There is no question that cities are growing; the only debate is over how they will grow. Will we invest in the physical and social infrastructure necessary for livable, equitable, and sustainable cities? In the latest edition of State of the World, the flagship publication of the Worldwatch Institute, experts from around the globe examine the core principles of sustainable urbanism and profile cities that are putting them into practice.

State of the World first puts our current moment in context, tracing cities in the arc of human history. It also examines the basic structural elements of every city: materials and fuels; people and economics; and biodiversity. In part two, professionals working on some of the world’s most inventive urban sustainability projects share their first-hand experience. Success stories come from places as diverse as Ahmedabad, India; Freiburg, Germany; and Shanghai, China. In many cases, local people are acting to improve their cities, even when national efforts are stalled. Parts three and four examine cross-cutting issues that affect the success of all cities. Topics range from the nitty-gritty of handling waste and developing public transportation to civic participation and navigating dysfunctional government.

Throughout, readers discover the most pressing challenges facing communities and the most promising solutions currently being developed. The result is a snapshot of cities today and a vision for global urban sustainability tomorrow.

 

Capital E President Greg Kats contributed a chapter titled "Energy Efficiency in Buildings: A Crisis of Opportunity"

Green Office Buildings: A Practical Guide to Development
By Greg Kats (Primary Author), et. al., Anne Frej, David Gottfired (Fwd.)
Publisher: Urban Land Institute

Extremely practical, this book reveals how to develop an environmentally sustainable office building in a cost-effective way. Not only does it teach about the business case for green buildings, but it also explains the nuts and bolts of site planning, design, sustainable construction, facilities management, financing and leasing, and government policies and trends.

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