Size matters: Studies find that operating and embodied energy increases with building height

Read the full story at Treehugger.

High density may be a good thing in cities, but tall buildings are not.

It is a standard environmental argument that high densities and tall buildings are greener; it is an excused used in cities like Toronto to approve tall condo towers everywhere. This TreeHugger has tried to make the case that you can have too much of a good thing, and that one should design cities to what I called the Goldilocks Density:

…Dense enough to support vibrant main streets with retail and services for local needs, but not too high that people can’t take the stairs in a pinch. Dense enough to support bike and transit infrastructure, but not so dense to need subways and huge underground parking garages. Dense enough to build a sense of community, but not so dense as to have everyone slip into anonymity.

Now, my student Bisma Naeem at Ryerson School of Interior Design points to a number of studies that demonstrate that the higher the building, the more embodied and operating energy required per square unit of measure.

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