Are Green Buildings Always Green?

Cheng Siew Goh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The building and construction industry has long been criticised for its extensive impacts on the environment. Being green has evolved as a new trend in the built environment, and it plays a vital role in contributing to environmental sustainability. In response to the call for climate change mitigation, an increasing number of green buildings have been built to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The exponential increase of green buildings however does not guarantee superior performance of the built environment in creating a greener and more comfortable environment to live and work. Over the past few decades, more studies revealed that green buildings may not necessarily live up to people’s expectations in delivering the sustainable development goals, thus demurring the status quo of green buildings. This paper therefore reviews the state-of-the-art of green building performance and debunk the myth of green buildings for meeting net zero carbon goals in a very short term. A value proposition to shift green buildings from energy-focused or carbon-oriented projects to people-oriented projects has therefore emerged. Engaging and empowering users is of urgent importance to optimise the performance of green buildings. Human-centric approaches have therefore been proposed to provide synergies between users and environment in green buildings, hence reducing performance gap issues associated with green building over the past few decades. The move towards green buildings and sustainable cities is no longer a scientific and technological transformation but also a social transition. However, more research is necessary to develop a holistic human centric approach in green buildings to necessitate the delivery of net zero carbon goals by 2050.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-132
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Surveying Research Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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