Sustainability at Katerra in 2020

By: Jim Nicolow, Senior Building Scientist, FAIA, LEED Fellow


In a 2008 presentation, green building pioneer Bob Berkebile noted that the day’s kindergarteners would be graduating in 2020 “the year of perfect vision.” What will 2020 vision look like in the coming year, as this generation raised with an awareness of the climate crisis comes of age?

The building sector is one of the largest in the world economy, representing $10 trillion in annual global spending on construction-related goods and services. A rapidly urbanizing planet sees 1.5 million people moving to cities every week for the foreseeable future. Buildings are responsible for greenhouse gas emissions at each stage of their life cycle, and the building industry is a key contributor to climate change (nearly 40% of global emissions are attributable to building operations and building materials).  For the building industry, 2020 vision will come with a mandate for buildings to be part of the climate solution.

Katerra has a vision to develop new solutions that help to ramp industry productivity and drastically reduce the carbon footprint of buildings. Our end-to-end integration touches all stages of the building life cycle, enabling our response to climate change to be a strategic differentiator in the marketplace. The guiding framework for Katerra’s initiatives to address climate change include:

Driving operational energy efficiency through technology investments

Driving embodied energy efficiency through materials research and development

Driving quality and efficiency benefits through the end-to-end Katerra process

Across Katerra, our teams will harness this framework in the coming year to provide a system for organizing and articulating Katerra’s multi-pronged response to addressing climate change, and to identify opportunities for innovation in the delivery of smarter buildings and better communities for everyone.

We’re excited for the announcements to come in the months ahead.

What We’re Reading

These are the last years of design as we know it – Fast Company

A Great Carbon Reckoning Comes to Architecture – Metropolis

The Carbon Issue – Architect Magazine

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