States is home to roughly 4.5 % of the world's population, consuming
over 24% of the world's energy, mostly through the combustion of
fossil fuels. Of this, buildings and building-housed processes compreise
aoubt 38% of US energy use. Primarily, this energy comes in the
form of lighitng, cooling, ventilating, and heating. Thus, US building
alone are responsible for almost 10% of the world's energy use,
a pattern shaped by designers. To make matters worse, "Furthermore,
buildings are among the most long-lived physical artifacts that
society produces. If one makes a shoddy washing machine or television
set, it will be recycled after a decade or so, but buildings last
for a very long time. Today's designs will be with us for many decades."
Charles C. (1998) Architecture Revisted: On Listening to Buildings.
In A. Scott (Ed.), Dimensions of Sustainability. London, E &
FN SPON. 75.