ISBN Print: 978-1-56700-279-9
ISBN Online: 978-1-56700-288-1
The sustainable construction concept emerged in the early 1990s as the built environment sector's response to the then newly emerging paradigm of sustainable development. The physical manifestation of sustainable construction is green buildings and their proliferation around the world is evidence that the sustainable construction paradigm is being widely accepted as the right solution at the right time. The strategy that was most instrumental in the rapid expansion in the number of green buildings worldwide was the emergence of building assessment systems such as BREEAM, LEED, Green Star, and DGNB, to name but a few. Beginning in 1990 with BREEAM, these assessment systems provided both definitions for green building as well as measuring tapes for determining how well the project conformed to the definition. Over 20 years later, the sustainable construction movement is emerging from its infancy and a variety of new directions are being explored. Most prominently among these is the net zero strategy or concept, which is finally providing sorely needed rational targets for building performance. This chapter will focus primarily on net zero as the cutting edge of sustainable construction. Additionally it will cover the emergence of carbon accounting and environmental product declarations (EPDs) as significant and important shifts in the direction of the evolution of sustainable construction.