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Article Dans Une Revue Energies Année : 2023

Sustainable Buildings: A Choice, or a Must for Our Future?


Construction is a key sector for green growth on a global scale. Buildings are responsible for more than 45% of final energy consumption, and more than 36% of greenhouse gas emissions. They are also one of the largest producers of waste, mostly generated during the construction and demolition phases. Therefore, this sector should be seen as a crucial area for government action plans, as many countries race to limit rising temperatures and fulfil their commitments according to the Paris Accords. Many countries have committed to achieving energy and environmental transition by 2030, and to having divided construction’s CO2 emissions by four by 2050, when compared to 1990. The priority of shifting towards sustainable practices lies in the ability to produce efficient buildings and job opportunities. Reducing the energy consumption of the building sector (heating, air conditioning, lighting, etc.) is a prime method for lowering its environmental impact. However, it is also key to promote the use of eco-materials to reduce carbon footprint and valorise construction waste. Thus, these considerations are the basis for the emerging research and innovation programs in energy efficiency and sustainable development. The entire life cycle of a building and the urban microclimate must be considered, by assessing a number of factors: the embedded energy of the materials, energy and water needs, CO2 and pollutant emissions, the quality of the indoor air, the quantity of waste produced, and the comfort of users. As populations continue to grow, and nations continue to develop at a breakneck pace previously unseen in our long history, in our ever-growing global infrastructure development boom, smart cities are the future for the better management of these factors. This exponential growth and subsequent increase in demand have understandably led to calls for more streamlined methods and techniques for the design, development, and maintenance of smart buildings, whether through the usage of smart materials during the construction process, the selection of more eco-friendly construction locations, or the utilization of advanced technologies and tools, such as artificial intelligence, big data, and the ever-expanding IoT. However, with such rapid growth comes another set of challenges, the most prominent of which are the consequences of climate change and the subsequent need for energy-efficient and sustainable designs. Climate change is no longer something that can be ignored; a statement by the White House stated that it could cost the US up to USD 2 trillion each year by the end of the century (, accessed on 22 October 2022).

Dates et versions

hal-04018761 , version 1 (08-03-2023)



Seif Khiati, Rafik Belarbi, Ammar Yahia. Sustainable Buildings: A Choice, or a Must for Our Future?. Energies, 2023, 16 (6), pp.2517. ⟨10.3390/en16062517⟩. ⟨hal-04018761⟩
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