The first rule of energy is to use less. The building sector emits an excess of 30 per cent of all global greenhouse emissions. And so, for nations to reach the targets of the Paris Agreement, it must become more efficient, stay cool and reduce demand. In the pages ahead we see examples of passively cooled architecture in India (Integrated Production Facility for Organic India), Singapore (Reaching Energy Targets) and Taiwan ROC (Sky Green). There are also super-efficient buildings in the Philippines (A Carbon Neutral Skyscraper) and Singapore (SMU Connexion).With the emissions question, however, lowering consumption is not enough. The building sector must also actively decarbonise. And this has several implications.To start, there needs to be a shift towards reliance on renewable energy, preferably sourced on-site. We are seeing more solar panels on roofs and façades. Decarbonisation also calls for new materials and construction methods. The SMU Connexion, for example, is the first net-zero energy building that uses compressed laminate timber, a material with low embodied energy, i.e., energy to source, manufacture and assemble.With decarbonisation, some...
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