Buildings are large contributors to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global warming, in addition to being major consumers of nonrenewable resources. There is concern that rapidly expanding urbanization worldwide will accelerate the pace of global warming and result in destructive climate change. In response, one school of thought promotes the way to passive methods of building and living by dematerializing the systems and services that are energy and resource intensive, and by adopting a simpler approach to the way people live. The other choice, mostly preferred by the building industry, is to change the way we build our towns and cities by making the built environment “green.” In order to measure the effectiveness of this attitude shift, we need to define “green buildings” and measure ...

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