Environmental Effects of Construction

Construction contributes 8- 10 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product, yielding an annual output of $4.6 trillion (U.S.). Building construction and operation have a substantial impact on the environment. Buildings are responsible for:

  • 72 percent of U.S. energy consumption
    Source: Energy Environmental Information Administration
  • 38 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions
    Source: Energy Information Administration
  • 13.6 percent of all potable water, or 15 trillion gallons per year
    Source: U.S. Geological Survey
  • 40 percent of raw materials usage globally
    Source: Lenssen and Roodman (1995)
  • 136 million tons of building-related construction and demolition debris
    Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


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