Human Impact on Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation in the Built Environment

SUZAINI M. ZAID is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Building Surveying, Faculty of Built Environment, University of Malaya.

Penerbit UM (First Printing, 2022)
171 pages including References and Index


In stock

Human Impact on Climate Change: Adaptation and Mitigation in the Built Environment highlights the relationship between climate change and human impact, focusing on the urban built environment context, and beginning with the understanding of the relationship of human impact on climate change. Life on earth in the 21st century is on the brink of an existence crisis, fuelled by climate and environmental catastrophes. many major climate crises have occurred, such as the Australian bush fires raged over four long months in September 2019, decimating an estimated 1 billion animals and killing over 20 humans. Similarly, the United States wildfires destroyed 4.7 million acres in 2020 as compared with 4.2 million acres in 2019. However, in 2022, many countries are facing torrential rains, typhoons and flooding and affecting urban areas such as Kuala Lumpur and Selangor states in Malaysia, Sydney in Australia and the Guangdong province in China—the country’s most populous region, causing massive infrastructure destruction and even death.

Today, we are in the throes of one of the biggest pandemics the world has seen, the COVID-19 that has infected over 545 million people and killed over 6.3 million people worldwide (World Health Organization data as of 1 July 2022). This pandemic has its roots in human activities on the earth, possibly causing the unprecedented worldwide spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which is believed to have originated from animals (zoonotic virus) and spreading to human-to-human transmission. Rapid deforestation driven by economic gains, population growth, and food production has destroyed wild habitats and brought humans into closer contact with wild animal species, resulting in the transmission of diseases from wildlife to humans. Overpopulation and overconsumption have also given rise to massive waste and plastic pollution, clogging our waterways and soil, with some research indicating that microplastics have invaded our human digestive.

Human activities have had a devastating effect on the environment, and now we are faced with a worldwide health crisis unparallel in history. People around the world are awakening to the imminent threat of climate change and have resorted to street protests and civil disobedience events to pressure governments and global policy organisations to take urgent action. Most people are stuck in the way they think about climate change; however, it is not so much about the environment and climate, but more about markets and economies. Policymakers and more academic researchers must focus on this, to change how we talk and address climate change. The emphasis in discussions on climate change should shift to economic issues because the economy encompasses all elements needed to address climate change and sustainable development: (i) environment—where we get all our raw resources from and how we dispose of waste; (ii) social—how people use products and services and dispose of waste; and (iii) the economy itself—understanding markets and industries. In 2020, we saw human development and environmental destruction not only impacted climate change, but also our health and livelihoods. As the COVID-19 pandemic is showing us, human greed for capitalistic, perpetual, and unsustainable economic growth has caused deaths all over the world. Humanity needs to change its trajectory and economic benchmark to a more sustainable economic model.

The key issues of climate change and sustainable development are the economies, in particular, the capitalist economic model and the way we measure “development”, which is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) These two factors are the key to addressing climate change, no country will be able to address it effectively or holistically without addressing these factors. The capitalist economic model and GDP require perpetual growth that is in itself completely opposite of sustainable development. Everything we eat, wear, and use comes from the environment, whether it be raw materials or the process of making the product. So, in order to address climate change and environmental degradation—we need to acknowledge that the economy is in a state of perpetual unsustainable growth, producing vast amounts of waste in its wake.

List of Figures
List of Tables

1. Introduction
Unsustainable Perpetual Economic Growth and Waste Pollution
Environmental Performance and Climate Change
“Sustainable Development” Only for the Privileged Few
Sustainable Built Environment
Sustainable Construction
The Carbon Lock-In Effect
Policy and Institutional Role to Reduce GHG Emissions

2. Human Development and Climate Change
The Age of Human and 1.5⁰ Celsius Temperature Increase
Climate Change and Zoonotic Pandemics
Water and Wastewater Systems in Buildings as Coronavirus Transmission Route
Urban Water and Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure
Urban Heat Island Effect and Climate Change

3. Energy Consumption in Buildings and Climate Change
Social Dimension of Climate Change
Psychological Approach in Building Energy Consumption and Carbon Emission
User Feedback Influencing Energy Patterns
Smart Building and Energy Monitoring System

4. Strategies for Climate Change Mitigation in Building Sector
Building Environmental Assessment Tools
Existing GHG Accounting Tools
Direct and Indirect Emissions
Implementing Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance Building Codes
Mandatory and Voluntary Energy Efficiency Measures
Energy Efficiency Legislation and Policies in South East Asia
Energy Performance Standards in the Building Sector
Low and Zero Energy Performance Targets for Buildings

5. Building Sector Mitigation Through Green Interventions
Green Roof
Benefits of Green Roof
Types of Green Roofs
Green Roof Design
Green Roof Maintenance
Vertical Greenery Systems
Type of Vertical Greenery System
Benefits of Vertical Greenery System
Carbon Sequestration Capacity
Lifecycle of VGS
Issues and Challenges of Implementing Vertical Greenery System
Structural Stability and Material Durability
Construction and Installation Methods
Water and Irrigation System
Drainage Systems
Maintenance Consideration

6. Case Study of Malaysia and its Impact on Climate Change
Malaysia’s Building Sector’s Impact on Climate Change
Low-Income Household Energy Consumption Patterns
Low-Cost Housing Energy Consumption and GHG Emissions

7. Conclusion


Weight0.289 kg
Dimensions22.8 × 15.1 × 1 cm




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