Sustainability concerns is not about Green Building only

As Green Building are more than just a Trend . . . In the MENA countries, some concerns about sustainability started to be heard of back in the 1970s; in fact it was more of a follow-on trend than anything else. With the region’s increasing urbanisation impacting the environment, Green Building became an option for [ . . . ]

As Green Building are more than just a Trend . . .

In the MENA countries, some concerns about sustainability started to be heard of back in the 1970s; in fact it was more of a follow-on trend than anything else. With the region’s increasing urbanisation impacting the environment, Green Building became an option for the real estates developers and management more particularly in the cities of the Gulf region where it somehow turned into a Trend, but Sustainability concerns is not about Green Building only, as reported by Top 10 GCC green building projects .

Consultants started indeed ringing the bell about the influencing factors that lie behind the lack of progress but that have to be addressed at the earliest. Lack of adequate legislation, due basically to the limited awareness of environmental issues generally could be the main reason.

Nevertheless some legislation that was sporadically taken in certain countries, apart from not being regionally coordinated, did not also confront the real issues and for lack of not taking account fully of the reality as it stands on the ground was across the board fairly ineffective.

The truth is that people slowly come to realise that we are having a devastating impact on the planet that we live on. In less than 2,000 years, human kind has led to the extinction to more species from the face of the earth than its entire existence. Considering that this is just a tiny bit of the overall time for which our planet exists, this is something that raises a lot of concerns. It’s obvious that people start to take initiatives through different LEED programs, sustainable development and through prioritising investments in different green initiatives. One of the most impactful fields is the construction. With this in mind, some things need to be pointed out.

Green Building – The Things to Consider

The truth is that green building, especially in Europe, has become something far more than just a simple development trend. And, of course, this is quite logical. It has paved the way for an approach which entails building homes and commercial constructions tailored to the demands of their time – not just to the demands of the occupants. And this is something that has to be particularly appreciated. The advantages are multiple.

Water Conservation

It’s worth mentioning that it’s estimated that the lack of fresh drinking water is going to be one of the tremendous burdens for future generations, should we keep wasting it with the temps we are right now. Recycling rainwater, for example, can preserve potable water and yield tremendous amounts of water savings which is definitely to be considered.

Emission Reduction

Fossil fuel emissions contribute to development and furthering of the biggest environmental burden of our times – global warming. Harmful emissions directly impact the quality of the breathable air and bring in a lot of different threats to human’s health such as lung cancer and other respiratory issues.

Storm water Management

This is also something that you might want to account for. Green building as defined in the majority of the LEED Programs can help manage storm water runoff. The latter can cause waterway erosion as well as flooding. The most troublesome thing, however, is that it could introduce potentially dangerous pollutants to water sources, hence incentivising potential diseases outbreaks.

Sustainable development

In any case, Europe is definitely riding the wave when it comes to sustainability, and you can easily observe this in a range of national and multinational projects. What is more, the Union is leading active policies, and it is actively funding initiatives in this particular regard through a range of different grants targeting both individuals and corporations. This is something particularly important. However, the same needs to be employed throughout the rest of the world as well. We can observe companies pioneering the field of sustainable development, and the examples here become more and more. This is definitely something particularly important, and it needs to be taken into proper consideration when it comes to it.

Sustainability

 

 

Green Building – More Than Just a Trend

In the MENA countries, some concerns about sustainability started to be heard of, back in the 1970s. it was in fact more of a follow-on trend than anything else.

European consultants however started ringing the bell about the 4 factors that lie behind the lack of progress but that have to be addressed at the earliest.  These are:

  • Lack of adequate legislation to enforce change towards incorporating sustainability
  • Absence of any discernible incentive towards sustainability
  • Unbalanced subsidies on energy, water, etc. leading to wastage
  • Limited awareness of environmental issues.

Nevertheless some legislation that was sporadically taken in certain countries, apart from not being regionally coordinated, did not also confront the real issues and for lack of not taking account fully the reality as it stands on the ground was across the board fairly ineffective.

The truth is that people slowly come to realise that we are having a devastating impact on the planet that we live on. In less than 2,000 years, human kind has led to the extinction to more species from the face of the earth than its entire existence. Considering that this is just a tiny bit of the overall time for which our planet exists, this is something that raises a lot of concerns. It’s obvious that people start to take initiatives through different LEED programs, sustainable development and through prioritising investments in different green initiatives. One of the most impactful fields is the construction. With this in mind, some things need to be pointed out.

 

Green Building – The Things to Consider

 

The truth is that green building, especially in Europe, has become something far more than just a simple development trend. And, of course, this is quite logical. It has paved the way for an approach which entails building homes and commercial constructions tailored to the demands of their time – not just to the demands of the occupants. And this is something that has to be particularly appreciated. The advantages are multiple.

Water Conservation

It’s worth mentioning that it’s estimated that the lack of fresh drinking water is going to be one of the tremendous burdens for future generations, should we keep wasting it with the temps we are right now. Recycling rainwater, for example, can preserve potable water and yield tremendous amounts of water savings which is definitely to be considered.

Emission Reduction

Fossil fuel emissions contribute to development and furthering of the biggest environmental burden of our times – global warming. Harmful emissions directly impact the quality of the breathable air and bring in a lot of different threats to human’s health such as lung cancer and other respiratory issues.

Storm water Management

This is also something that you might want to account for. Green building as defined in the majority of the LEED Programs can help manage storm water runoff. The latter can cause waterway erosion as well as flooding. The most troublesome thing, however, is that it could introduce potentially dangerous pollutants to water sources, hence incentivising potential diseases outbreaks.

In any case, Europe is definitely riding the wave when it comes to sustainable development, and you can easily observe this in a range of national and multinational projects. What is more, the Union is leading active policies, and it is actively funding initiatives in this particular regard through a range of different grants targeting both individuals and corporations. This is something particularly important. However, the same needs to be employed throughout the rest of the world as well. We can observe companies pioneering the field of sustainable development, and the examples here become more and more. This is definitely something particularly important, and it needs to be taken into proper consideration when it comes to it.

Trees are much better at Creating Clouds

and Cooling the Climate than we thought!

The pre-industrial atmosphere contained more particles, and so brighter clouds, than we previously thought. This is the latest finding of the CLOUD experiment, a collaboration between around 80 scientists at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva. It changes our understanding of what was in the atmosphere before humans began adding pollution – and what it might be like again in the future.
Most cloud droplets need tiny airborne particles to act as “seeds” for their formation and growth. If a cloud has more of these seeds, and therefore more droplets, it will appear brighter and reflect away more sunlight from the Earth’s surface. This in turn can cool the climate. Therefore understanding the number and size of particles in the atmosphere is vital to predicting not only how bright and reflective the planet’s clouds are, but what global temperatures will be.
Today, around half of these particles come from natural sources. That includes dust from the ground, volcanoes, wildfires that make soot, or sea spray that evaporates midair leaving behind tiny specs of salt in the atmosphere.
Many airborne particles also result from us burning fossil fuels. This produces soot, but also sulphur dioxide gas which is made into sulphuric acid in the atmosphere. As well as causing acid rain, sulphuric acid molecules can stick together and grow into particles . . .

An article titled Trees are much better at Creating Clouds on The Conversation of October 10th, 2016, written by Hamish Gordon, Research Fellow in Amospheric Science and Cat Scott, Research Fellow in Atmospheric Science, both of University of Leeds covers a very interesting topic of how to alleviate Man made impact on the Earth’s climate.  We republish it on this website with all due thanks and compliments to the authors as well as to original publishers.

and Cooling the Climate than we thought!

The pre-industrial atmosphere contained more particles, and so brighter clouds, than we previously thought. This is the latest finding of the CLOUD experiment, a collaboration between around 80 scientists at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva. It changes our understanding of what was in the atmosphere before humans began adding pollution – and what it might be like again in the future.

Most cloud droplets need tiny airborne particles to act as “seeds” for their formation and growth. If a cloud has more of these seeds, and therefore more droplets, it will appear brighter and reflect away more sunlight from the Earth’s surface. This in turn can cool the climate. Therefore understanding the number and size of particles in the atmosphere is vital to predicting not only how bright and reflective the planet’s clouds are, but what global temperatures will be.

Today, around half of these particles come from natural sources. That includes dust from the ground, volcanoes, wildfires that make soot, or sea spray that evaporates midair leaving behind tiny specs of salt in the atmosphere.

Many airborne particles also result from us burning fossil fuels. This produces soot, but also sulphur dioxide gas which is made into sulphuric acid in the atmosphere. As well as causing acid rain, sulphuric acid molecules can stick together and grow into particles . Other molecules like ammonia full often help glue the sulphuric acid molecules together, and overall this process forms around half of the cloud seeding particles in today’s atmosphere.

1
The CLOUD experiment simulates a ‘mini climate’. Antti Onnela / CERN, Author provided

The CLOUD experiment at CERN also recently discovered that gases emitted by trees can stick together to make new seeds for clouds in the atmosphere – without needing any help from other pollutants as was previously thought. Scientists had thought that the cloud seeds needed sulphuric acid (often mixed with other compounds) or iodine molecules to stick together to initiate the process.

In our new follow-up study, published in PNAS, we worked with other CLOUD scientists to simulate this process in the atmosphere. Our work suggests that even today trees produce a large fraction of cloud seeds over the cleanest forested parts of the world.

Simulations of the atmosphere before fossil fuel burning started in earnest and the industrial revolution began (in climate science defined as the year 1750) predict fewer particles than are present today. With fewer particles the cleaner clouds would have reflected less of the sun’s energy and, perhaps counter-intuitively, they would have looked a bit greyer.

The CLOUD experiment

The ability of the gases from trees (terpenes) to make particles was first proposed back in 1960 to explain blue hazes seen over forests in remote areas. Many lab experiments have since confirmed terpenes  can help form new particles, but until recently it was thought that other pollutants like sulphuric acid were required.

2
The Blue Mountains to the west of Sydney, Australia, are named after their characteristic haze. ian woolcock / shutterstock

Much of the more recent progress in this area is thanks to the CLOUD experiment: a stainless steel cylinder, about three metres in diameter and three metres high. Gases are injected into the cylinder, where they react much as they would in the atmosphere and then stick together to make particles. State-of-the-art instruments count the gas molecules and particles in the chamber. We study how the number of new particles formed every second changes when we increase the amount of the sticky gases in the cylinder.

What does this mean for the atmosphere?

In today’s atmosphere, there is so much sulphuric acid around that it is difficult to measure how much anything else contributes to forming new particles, and so to the clouds. However our new simulation using the CLOUD results shows that terpenes were very important in the cleaner atmosphere of a few hundred years ago. Computer modelling suggests that estimates of particle concentrations in the cleaner pre-industrial atmosphere should be increased, while our estimates of today’s concentrations are mostly unchanged.

It’s hard to make accurate predictions at this early stage as not all of the complicated chemical processes are understood. However, the new results may be important because more particles in the atmosphere mean more reflective clouds and a cooler climate.

Pollution masking climate change

Over the past century, cooling due to increasing numbers of particles in the atmosphere has offset, or masked, some of the warming due to increasing carbon dioxide levels. Our simulations suggest that this extra cooling might not have been as strong as previously thought.

There have recently been concerns that as we collectively improve air quality across the world, by emitting fewer particles into the atmosphere, we will also be reducing the capacity of particles to act as cloud seeds and have a cooling effect.

While our simulations remain quite uncertain, the potential importance of this new process suggests that as we reduce pollution from combustion and other sources, natural compounds could once again become more important. By helping to replace cloud seeds from air pollution, trees may be able to help us limit global temperature rises.

Gentle lupins and tall hollyhocks

How many gentle flowers grow in an English country garden?
I’ll tell you now, of some that I know, and those I miss I hope you’ll pardon.
Daffodils, hearts-ease and flocks, meadow sweet and lilies, stocks,
Gentle lupins and tall hollyhocks,
Roses, fox-gloves, snowdrops, forget-me-knots in an English country garden.
How many insects find their home in an English country garden?
I’ll tell you now of some that I know, and those I miss, I hope you’ll pardon.
Dragonflies, moths and bees, spiders falling from the trees,
Butterflies sway in the mild gentle breeze.
There are hedgehogs that roam and little garden gnomes in an English country garden.
How many song-birds make their nest in an English country garden?
I’ll tell you now of some that I know, and those I miss, I hope you’ll pardon.
Babbling, coo-cooing doves, robins and the warbling thrush,
Blue birds, lark, finch and nightingale.
We all smile in the spring when the birds all start to sing in an English country garden.

English Country Garden

How many gentle flowers grow in an English country garden?
I’ll tell you now, of some that I know, and those I miss I hope you’ll pardon.
Daffodils, hearts-ease and flocks, meadow sweet and lilies, stocks,
Gentle lupins and tall hollyhocks,
Roses, fox-gloves, snowdrops, forget-me-knots in an English country garden.

How many insects find their home in an English country garden?
I’ll tell you now of some that I know, and those I miss, I hope you’ll pardon.
Dragonflies, moths and bees, spiders falling from the trees,
Butterflies sway in the mild gentle breeze.
There are hedgehogs that roam and little garden gnomes in an English country garden.

How many song-birds make their nest in an English country garden?
I’ll tell you now of some that I know, and those I miss, I hope you’ll pardon.
Babbling, coo-cooing doves, robins and the warbling thrush,
Blue birds, lark, finch and nightingale.
We all smile in the spring when the birds all start to sing in an English country garden.

Beautiful back yard

This lovely old song sums up the appeal of gardens in England.  I think there are few countries where people take much pride in the little space around their houses, there is certainly some competition between neighbours and so it was with shame that I sat in my garden and observed that it looked poor compared to next door’s garden.  This is a situation that must be corrected.

As the song says, there is a great wealth of plants found here and the potential for a truly green lawn as well as a refuge for wildlife in our increasingly crowded island.

Britain is a temperate country and this favours gardening.  Gardeners worry about all sorts of things but the most worrying is the collapse of the bee population worldwide.  Bees of course, are not simply the carriers of pollen from one pretty plant to another but a vital conduit of crop fertilization worldwide.  Bee population collapse is no minor agriculture issue and the subject of frantic research that has linked problems to various things including pesticides and climate change.

Historically, gardens were vital sources of food for the rural poor but even in their gardens you would have found the odd lupin or rose.  Many plants such as St John’s Wort, had medical uses before our wonderful free National Health Service was born.     Fruit and Veggies

During the Second World War, gardens were an important source of extra nutrition and almost every inch would be planted with vegetables or fruit which would be preserved for winter in pickles or jams.  The traditional busy country garden is still very popular but of course, is less given over to food production.

Gardens unfortunately, have gradually shrunk lately and the limited space needs careful.  Garden design is quite an industry these days and we might have seaside style gardens, Zen gardens or container based gardens that utilize the smaller space available   Perhaps, private gardens are aspiration of beautiful and safe privacy but even those without gardens can enjoy a public park.

A peacock at Kew Gardens in Autumn
A peacock at Kew Gardens in Autumn

Wishing you well in your beautiful places in the last days of summer.

Engineering and Construction of Building

Modern Engineering & Construction of Building . . . Historically, the techniques used in the Engineering & Construction of Building were developed since time immemorial, with as always the equivalent problems and setbacks encountered by today architects / engineers. As a matter of fact, we know now that a pyramid construction was a long and phased process over lengthy stages of time and using many resources.

Modern Engineering & Construction of Building . . .

Historically, the techniques used in the Engineering and Construction of Building were developed since time immemorial, with as always the equivalent problems and setbacks encountered by today architects / engineers.

As a matter of fact, we know now that a pyramid construction was a long and phased process over lengthy stages of time and using many resources.

Modern construction of today’s buildings and / or infrastructure projects like that of the Great Pyramid is very often complex and likely to be built over long period of time using massive manpower, management, etc.  How to optimise the lot of the required resources has always haunted the master builders to date with still no specific recipe ready at hand.

We selected this piece of McKinsey & Co. for its genuine approach that could be of interest for the whole MENA region today, particularly that of the GCC’s that is not only at a stone’s throw from Egypt but also 3000 years younger.

Beating the low-productivity trap: How to transform construction operations

By Jose Luis Blanco, Mauricio Janauskas, and Maria Joao Ribeirinho Engineering and construction companies suffer from low margins and relatively low productivity.  They can do better.

Infrastructure providers have reason to feel optimistic. The McKinsey Global Institute has estimated that $57 trillion worth of infrastructure investments will be required by 2030 just to keep up with the global economy.1

For engineering and construction companies, that translates into a steady 4 percent annual growth rate. Many industries would be happy with that prospect.

Despite the positive outlook, the sector is struggling with stagnating productivity and low profit margins in many markets. For example, while overall labor productivity in Germany and Britain has risen by almost 30 percent since 1995, construction labor productivity in those countries is up by only about 7 percent over that period (Exhibit 1).

McKinsey Exhibit 1

Exhibit 1

What’s more, McKinsey recently analyzed the financial performance of 30 major public engineering and construction companies from 2005 to 2015. Fewer than 15 percent consistently enjoyed double-digit growth and margins for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Exhibit 2).

McKinsey Exhibit 2

Exhibit 2

These results are not as good as they should be. In essence, engineering and construction companies are professional-services organizations: they use their distinctive know-how to provide specialized forms of business support to clients, from the initial idea to design and execution. Other types of professional services target—and often achieve—30 to 40 percent operating margins. The higher end might be out of reach for engineering and construction companies, but we believe that 20 to 30 percent is possible if they design their operations differently and focus not on utilization (for example, by taking low-margin business to keep resources at work) but on profitability. Clients are looking for higher-quality and more cost-efficient solutions grounded on more productive technologies and methods. Engineering and construction companies able to bring such value-enhancing solutions to clients will likely enjoy better margins.

In this article, we describe the challenges, both internal and external, facing the sector. Then we suggest specific moves that companies in it can make to improve their productivity and profit margins over the long term—and in the process help to build the infrastructure a growing world needs.

Internal challenges

Our work with engineering and construction companies around the world suggests a number of common flaws that impair their performance and ability to innovate. These include the following issues:

Shortfalls in accountability. This problem is a major element in the consistent failure of companies to deliver projects on time and on budget. Organizational structures are frequently unclear, so that no one takes responsibility for results, and financial incentives often are not aligned with project goals.

Talent management. Engineering and construction companies everywhere complain that they can’t find or keep enough people with the right skills. Few can develop talent internally. In addition, many people don’t want to work in difficult or risky regions. These companies, believing that only engineers with long records in the field can succeed, have resisted hiring from outside it—a reluctance that has limited the industry’s ability to reinvent itself and to learn from other sectors. Most engineering and construction companies, for example, lack leading-edge sales capabilities, such as strategic-account management and cross-selling.

Reinventing the wheel. Many functions in the sector are risk averse and reluctant to share best practices. Often, companies run business units and megaprojects as if they were independent companies, without consistent performance management. Each project is treated as if it were one of a kind, so that margins can vary even for comparable undertakings.

Read more on the original McKinsey’s.

Ethics for Engineers training

For engineering students interested in engaging in-depth with engineering ethics, the National Academy of Engineering recently released a report titled “Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers,” which outlines some of the country’s best ethics programs in engineering education.
The report is based on a set of criteria the selection committee used to determine the strength of a school’s engineering ethics program. Schools were scrutinized based the program’s format, length of occurrence within a student’s education and course curriculum.

A piece posted on June 06, 2016 by Shane Laros on Engineering.com deals with Ethics for Engineers training and how top schools start to study engineering ethics. Indeed, engineers face the ethical implications of their work every day.

According to Laros, “these implications, alongside the crucial nature of civil engineering, are necessary to improving human life around the world. Being able to identify the impact one’s work will have on both the individual and the community is essential, as fixing one problem may create or bring attention to another.

Per Wikipedia, engineering ethics is the field of applied ethics and system of moral principles that apply to the practice of engineering.  The field examines and sets the obligations by engineers to society, to their clients, and to the profession.

Below you will find the extensive version of the article:

Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers :

“Engineers are specially placed to have a great impact on society. With some insight into ethical issues that may present themselves, future STEM graduates in engineering are well equipped to make the best decisions for everyone.

For engineering students interested in engaging in-depth with engineering ethics, the National Academy of Engineering recently released a report titled “Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers,” which outlines some of the country’s best ethics programs in engineering education.

The report is based on a set of criteria the selection committee used to determine the strength of a school’s engineering ethics program. Schools were scrutinized based the program’s format, length of occurrence within a student’s education and course curriculum.

The report goes beyond simple course details, however, and also looks at incentives and faculty reward structures that entice educators to participate and stay up-to-date on their own ethics education.

Throughout, the report looked closely at how students were able to connect their ethics education with their future in engineering. Below are some highlights from some of the highest ranking schools.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ethics and Engineering for Safety

MIT’s semester-long program in ethics uses problems that are identified as having no clear ethical outcome to encourage students to look at problems from multiple perspectives. By looking at broad ethical problems on a macro scale, students are asked to think of public safety and the responsibility of an engineer to safeguard human life, without compromising the innovative work of engineers.

Terrascope

The second of MIT’s STEM ethics programs, Terrascope involves alumni mentors connecting with freshman students in a project-based, team learning environment. By integrating with students’ projects, the year long course helps students identify possible ethical implications of their work, and includes the support of upperclassmen and faculty who work as mentors and teaching fellows.

Northeastern University

Case Studies for Engineering Ethics Across the Engineering Life Cycle

Northeastern University offers a slightly different approach to their ethics programs than other schools, by using a large repository of case studies and materials compiled from real world examples. Professional engineers have contributed data to the program, which tries to ensure that all ethical angles of a given situation are covered. Less rigorous cases are also used in high school education programs, to begin the students’ ethics education as early as possible, then leading into the university level.

Multiyear Engineering Ethics Case Study Approach

Northeastern’s second ethics program for STEM education students is available after students begin their second year, and continuing through their fourth. It is an interactive, case study based program that integrates with the student’s regular education, as well as their cooperative placements. With Northeastern’s efforts in ethics clearly visible, you can be sure the 80 to 100 civil engineers the school graduates annually are well-versed in engineering ethics.

Stanford University

Global Engineers’ Education Course

Stanford’s ethics program puts students into humanitarian situations to show them the ethical implications of engineering, rather than simply telling them about it. For example, students work with a community in rural India to address local issues such as sanitation and hygiene. Though the program is not as large or in depth as some of the others mentioned here, the students gain valuable insight and perspective as they are required to report on and discuss their work.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Humanitarian Engineering, Past and Present: A Role-Playing First-Year Course

Focusing on the social responsibility of ethics in engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute incorporates their ethics curriculum directly into the program’s courses. It has the support of faculty from multiple disciplines, and takes place in a student’s first year of STEM post secondary education. The seven-week course uses roleplaying and student interaction to examine large scale, macroethical issues such as city sanitation or river water purification, while identifying different points of view in each problem.

Lafayette College and Rutgers University

Engineering a Catastrophe: Ethics for First-Year STEM

Another program designed for first year students, Lafayette College, in conjunction with Rutgers University, encourages its STEM students to look at ethical issues from the perspective of both engineers and non-engineers. Students are encouraged to develop empathy and divergent thinking while engaging with students from other disciplines. The course uses historical and contemporary issues as focuses of discussion, and is set as the cornerstone of a continuing ethical education throughout the rest of the larger engineering curriculum.”

There are many more excellent engineering ethics educational opportunities and programs at institutions across the country.

For more information and details on the entire list of schools and programs, the full report can be found on the National Academy of Engineering website.

Oil slump leading towards Sustainability

Whilst low oil prices are believed to ‘offer chance to spur G7 energy transition’

According to Reuters published on May 3rd, 2016  a piece on the G7 Energy ministers of the leading Western economies meeting in Kitakyushu, Japan to discuss ways to create opportunities from the current oil slump.  Is the current  Oil slump leading towards Sustainability?

The G7 in a nutshell are pushing towards more green sources of energy.

This whilst on the other side of the seas, in the meantime, driving green energy is also being taken up in top exporting nations.  With oil at below $50 a barrel, countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and Kuwait are looking to curb domestic consumption subsidies and maximise export profits whilst investing in wind and solar power, according to government officials meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Visitors to the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016 where global leaders in policy, technology and business discuss new ways of shaping the future of renewable energy and sustainable development.

McKinsey who in an article back in March 2016 and in view of both sides of the sea, see in the renewables some sort of panacea, the ensuing development of all related infrastructure could become the main headache for everyone.  Here it is :

The next generation of infrastructure

Written by  Aaron Bielenberg, Mike Kerlin, Jeremy Oppenheim, and Melissa Roberts  and published by McKinsey & Company .

Sustainable projects will add trillions to the world’s infrastructure costs. Our report finds that private-sector investors must look at new ways to fill the gap.

The international consensus on sustainable economic development gained momentum in 2015, culminating last December in Paris with a broad global accord on reducing the level of greenhouse gases.  A new McKinsey report—Financing change: How to mobilize private-sector financing for sustainable infrastructure—examines a key element of progress: ensuring that the transport networks, energy networks, and waste and water facilities in demand across the globe, notably in middle-income countries, will be climate resilient, be socially inclusive (by diminishing poverty or increasing employment), and reduce carbon emissions.

While business groups, development banks, and governments have all pledged significant increases in funding and research for sustainable infrastructure, the scale of the challenge is enormous: from 2015 to 2030, global demand for new infrastructure could amount to more than $90 trillion,1 almost double the estimated $50 trillion value of the world’s existing stock. That means we will literally be rebuilding our world over the next 15 years. Moreover, while such investments promise to multiply economic and business opportunities, a number of barriers must fall to attract the necessary finance.

Making it happen

The world needs to find $7.7 trillion annually over the next 15 years, up from $3 trillion today, to pay not only for additional infrastructure but also for sustainable projects, which are typically more expensive than traditional ones (exhibit). Our projections show that this sustainability “premium” could add $14 trillion to overall infrastructure costs between 2015 and 2030. Corresponding declines in investment for fossil-fuel projects and the lower cost of investing in densely configured urban areas will offset some of that. The bottom line: we estimate that an additional 6 percent in up-front capital will be required to raise the level of the new infrastructure to the sustainability standards achieved, for example, in Colombia’s recent Fourth Generation roadway expansion and Kenya’s Lake Turkana wind-power network.