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Build Like It's the End of the World. A Practical Guide to Decarbonize Architecture, Engineering, and Construction. Edition No. 1

  • Book

  • 416 Pages
  • October 2024
  • Region: Global
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • ID: 5948874
Authoritative roadmap to the design and construction of a carbon positive built environment

“Build Like It's the End of the World” stands as a compelling manifesto for the AEC industry, confronting the urgent challenges of climate change with actionable solutions. Authored by Sandeep Ahuja and Patrick Chopson, this pioneering text embarks on a journey to redefine the future of our built environment. Through a lens of decarbonization, it challenges established norms and introduces a new benchmark for sustainable design and construction.

This book not only advocates for a radical shift in design and construction philosophy but also provides a concrete blueprint for achieving carbon positivity in our projects and practices. The authors bring their extensive experience and research to the forefront, offering a guide that marries rigorous analytical methods with practical applications. It is a call to action, urging professionals and students alike to embrace innovative technologies and strategies that can lead to significant changes in how we conceive and construct our spaces.

Within its pages, readers will find: - A comprehensive strategy for carbon-positive design: A detailed blueprint showcases step-by-step how sustainable practices can be integrated into projects, drawing on the authors' vast experience and thorough research. - Engaging tools for practical implementation: Bridging the gap between high-level sustainability goals and their execution, providing readers with learning objectives, instructional activities, and compelling case studies. - Insights on embedding sustainable practices: It offers valuable perspectives on incorporating carbon-positive principles into existing workflows, highlighting the simplicity and profound impact of these efforts. - The economic and cultural case for sustainable buildings: Demonstrating the viability and necessity of carbon-positive buildings, emphasizing the importance of a cultural shift towards decarbonization in the construction industry.

“Build Like It's the End of the World” is an essential read for anyone in the AEC field looking to navigate the complexities of decarbonization of buildings. It serves as a powerful testament to the role of technology and strategic innovation in transforming the industry, guiding us towards a future where our buildings play a pivotal role in the health of our planet.

Table of Contents

Foreword xiii

 Tarek Rakha, PhD, Director, High Performance Building Lab at Georgia Institute of Technology

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xxiii

Chapter 1: A Call to Action - Climate Change and the Role of the Built Environment 29

-              How big is the problem of climate change?

-              What is the business opportunity for the AEC industry?

-              Conclusion

-              Insights from Peter Templeton, President and CEO of USGBC

Chapter 2: What is Carbon Positive Design?

-              Step 1: Set Decarbonization and Project Goals 

-              Step 2: Evaluate Design and Construction Processes 

-              Step 3: Develop Targeted Solutions 

-              Step 4: Create an Implementation Plan

-              Step 5: Validating and Verifying the Finished Design 

-              Conclusion

-              Case Studies: Georgia Tech Campus Center 

Chapter 3: What is Carbon Positive Construction?

-              Considering variables beyond cost

-              Reshaping Regulation and Raising Transparency 

-              Rewiring the Contractual Framework 

-              Redefining Design and Engineering Approaches 

-              Improving Procurement and Supply-Chain Management

-              Improving On-Site Execution 

-              Infusing Digital Technology, New Materials, and Advanced Automation 

-              Reskill the Workforce 

-              Conclusion 

-              Insights from Natalie Terrill, Director of Sustainability at Beck Group 

Chapter 4: The Business Case for Carbon Positive Buildings

-              The interconnection between climate risk, finance, insurance, and economic GDP

-              The Role of Climate Risk in Finance, Insurance and Economic GDP 

-              The Role of Policy and Regulation in Encouraging Low-Carbon Building Investments 

-              The Opportunities for the Finance Sector in Supporting Low-Carbon Building Investments 

-              The Competitive Advantage of Decarbonized Buildings 

-              The Business Case for Low-Carbon Buildings 

-              Opportunities for Energy Savings and Revenue Generation 

-              Case Study - Emory University Campus Life Center

-              Insights from Michael Beckerman, CEO at CREtech

-              Insights from VC Shaun Abrahamson, Managing Partner at Third Sphere

Chapter 5: The Role of Data Driven Design in the Implementation Process

-              Current Challenges in the Building Design Process 

-              Digital Technologies in Decarbonization Strategies 

-              The Impact of Rapid Digitalization in Construction 

-              Insights from Dennis Shelden, Associate Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

-              The Potential of Emerging Technologies 

-              Building Information Network (BIN): A New Paradigm 

-              Applying the Github Model to Building Design 

-              Decarbonization Strategies in the BIN Framework 

-              The Evolving Roles of Participants in a BIN Framework 

-              The Challenges Amid Rapid Industry Change and Industrialization 

-              Change Management in the Digital Era 

-              Conclusion 

-              Insights from Tristram Carfrae RDI, Deputy Chair at Arup

Chapter 6: Decarbonizing Buildings: “The Low Hanging Fruit" 

-              Understanding the Basics of Building Science 

-              Site Selection and Building Orientation 

-              Passive Design Strategies: Harnessing the Power of Nature 

-              Case study: High Performance Tower by tvsdesign 

-              Harnessing the Microclimate 

-              Conclusion

-              Insights from Pablo La Roche,  Principal & Professor at CallisonRTKL, Arcadis and Cal Poly Pomona  

Chapter 7: Shifting Decision Making Early into the Process

-              The Architectural View and Decision-Making

-              The Importance of Early Understanding and Exploration

-              Case Study: Phase 2 of Health Sciences Research Building

-              Benefits of integrated project delivery (Used to be in chapter 3)

-              Insights from Chirag Mistry AIA, LEED AP, Senior Principal, Regional Leader of Science + Technology at HOK

-              Consequences of Process Deficiencies

-              Leveraging Technology for Early Decision-Making

-              Policies, Regulations and Early Decision-Making

-              Case Study: SCC Beatrice Multidisciplinary Learning Center 

-              Insights from Sarah Gudeman, Principal and Building Science Practice Lead at BranchPattern

-              Conclusion

Chapter 8: How to Ensure Carbon Positive Decisions Make It to Final Construction

-              The Continuous Effort in Meeting Performance Objectives

-              Assuring Appropriate Programming and Establishing Design Objectives

-              Insights from Kate Simonen, AIA, SE, Professor at University of Washington

-              Leveraging Lessons Learned and Instituting Quality Assurance

-              Insights from Eric Borchers, Structural Engineer at KAI Hawaii, Inc.

Chapter 9: Changing the Culture to Value Carbon Positive Buildings

-              Synthesizing Knowledge into a Cultural Shift

-              Education and Advocacy: Building the Foundation for Change

-              The Economics of Change: Incentivizing Carbon Positive Behaviors

-              Harnessing Technology for Carbon-Positive Building Design

-              Synergy between Old and New for harmonious integration of cutting-edge and time-tested methods

-              Conclusion


Crafting Our Future Landscape

Appendix 337

Experts, Innovators, and Thought Leaders Interviewed

Organizations and Universities Represented

The 25 Data-Driven Strategies

Software Mentioned



Sandeep Ahuja Patrick Chopson