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
- From smart windows and intelligent HVAC, to cloud-based machine learning utilizing occupant feedback to optimize performance, Katerra products are being designed to increase operational energy efficiency at every level.
Driving embodied energy efficiency through materials research and development
- Our Spokane Valley CLT factory is the largest North American factory for sustainably sourced mass timber and additional certifications and Environmental Product Declarations are in progress for 2020.
- The Katerra Building Sciences Team is developing a roadmap to Zero Carbon Concrete by 2025.
- All KOVA plumbing fixtures will meet LEED requirements.
Driving quality and efficiency benefits through the end-to-end Katerra process
- Using proprietary technology with our structural building components to increase speed and reduce waste
- Our manufacturing and onsite teams will continue to reduce waste through streamlined offsite construction, delivery, and logistics
- Leveraging our end-to-end integration and supply chain control to better measure and understand the carbon impacts across the building lifecycle.
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 MagazineBack