Building Sector Provides Greatest Opportunity to Tackle Climate Change

Posted on Apr 20, 2011 by Theresa Lehman
Lake Mills Middle School

> Lake Mills Middle School – LEED® Platinum Certified – the 7th greenest K-12 school in the world!


  • 15% – of the U.S. gross domestic product is building sector
  • 30% – of emissions are contributed by buildings
  • 39% – of energy is consumed by buildings
  • 72% – of electricity is consumed by buildings
  • 14% – of drinkable water is consumed by buildings
  • 40% – of raw materials are consumed by buildings
  • 30% – of all waste is produced by buildings
  • 136 million tons – annual waste produced by buildings

By incorporating sound, practical, sustainable design, construction and operational practices, the building sector provides the greatest, most rapid and cost-effective opportunities to cut emissions, thereby reducing climate change. By investing in energy-efficiency and clean energy technology, buildings will not only reduce emissions, they will stimulate economic and social recovery.

The 2009 research report published by McGraw-Hill projects the green building industry has the potential to create $554 billion in U.S. gross domestic product, save/create 7.9 million jobs ($396 billion in wages) and save $6 billion in energy costs between 2009 and 2013. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) believes increasing building efficiency has the potential to meet 85 percent of future U.S. energy demand, which directly results in reducing climate change. It is reported that green buildings reduce:

  • Energy consumption 24%-50%
  • Carbon emissions 33%-39%
  • Drinkable water consumption 40%
  • Solid waste 70%


What is Miron Construction doing?
As one of Wisconsin’s largest general contractors, Miron has the ability to significantly impact human health, the environment and the local economy. We work at educating design-build partners and clients on the numerous benefits of the triple bottom line – people, planet and payback.

Internally, Miron’s sustainable leadership is inspiring the lives of our employees, causing them to make better choices both in the office and at home. These behaviors are positively impacting their health and well-being and minimizing environmental impacts.

Leading by example to demonstrate the benefits of the triple bottom line through education, corporate culture and practical construction solutions is our mission. Building a sustainable future is our promise.

About Theresa Lehman

Dedicating her entire career to sustainable practice, Theresa has worked on more than 70 projects seeking LEED® certification utilizing the LEED®-NC, LEED®-CI, LEED®-CS, LEED®-EBOM, and LEED® for Schools green building rating systems. She has successfully certified projects that have earned LEED® certification at all four award levels including: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Her portfolio of LEED® projects includes many “Wisconsin firsts” such as the first State of Wisconsin LEED® certified project, the first healthcare facility, the first LEED®-EBOM Schools, the first LEED® for Schools project and the first zero-net energy / carbon neutral project–the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center–the “greenest building on the planet” according to Rick Fedrizzi, former President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council.

Get in touch with Theresa Lehman
View all posts by Theresa Lehman
[email protected]

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