Should We Prioritize More Efficient Buildings?

By Dom Nozzi

February 13, 2013

A few days ago, an architect made the point that buildings contribute much more to global warming than motor vehicles.

My response was that even though that may be true, it does not suggest that we should prioritize the creation of “green” (efficient) buildings over reducing per capita travel by car.


Because our quality of life, our neighborhoods, and our bank accounts will be significantly improved if we employ effective tactics (we know of many effective, equitable tactics) to reduce car use. By contrast, there will be little noticeable improvement in quality of our thaibiosolarhousecommunities if we create more “green gizmo” buildings. In my opinion, then, our number one priority, by far, is to design our neighborhoods to reduce car use.

I should also note that while cars contribute less to global warming than buildings, they nevertheless are significant contributors to the problem.

And I am not suggesting that we disregard the problem of inefficient buildings. Just that we should properly prioritize our efforts.


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