Cooperating on environmental aspects of construction

Advancing environmentally friendly construction

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.

Agenda 21 recommends promoting free exchange of information on the whole range of environmental and health aspects of construction through the collaborative efforts of the private and public sectors, including the development and dissemination of databases on the adverse environmental effects of building materials.


The United Nations Centre for Human Settlements – UNCHS (Habitat) recommends the following measures to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry: (1) improving energy efficiency in construction, in building material production processes and in buildings-in-use; (2) using eco-friendly architectural designs and adequate insulation systems to improve thermal efficiency of buildings; (3) using, as much as possible, low energy materials – those which are less dependent on limited non-renewable resources; (4) increasing the use of recycled and waste material for construction and in the production of building materials; (5) monitoring the combustion systems in kiln processes, conducting energy and pollution-emission audits, installing pollution abatement devices in construction materials production plants; (6) substituting fossil fuels by low-grade fuels, such as agricultural wastes, and using renewable sources of energy for manufacture of building materials; (7) adhering strictly to land-use zoning requirements and regulations for extraction of raw materials; (8) awareness creation, training, capacity building and arranging regional and international cooperation in environmental aspects of the construction industry.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 15: Life on Land