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At Home with Nature: Early Reflections on Green Building Laws and the Transformation of the Built Environment

71 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2009 Last revised: 13 Oct 2012

Keith H. Hirokawa

Albany Law School

Date Written: October 12, 2012

Abstract

Green building, which was formalized only fifteen years ago to promote healthier and more efficient building practices, has exceeded virtually all predictions of its potential. Green building has entered markets in almost every major city in the United States, while developing as a sophisticated basis for investment, human health, and conservation. Stated otherwise, green building is no longer a fringe environmental policy and, as argued in this Article, is even shedding its markings as a political ideology.

This Article examines two parallel but distinct consequences of the green building movement. First, by considering the major challenges to green building, this Article examines the conditions for success of the movement – how green building has become acceptable to consumers, the construction industry, and building regulators. Second, this Article explores the relationship between the goals and methods of green building laws and argues that green building compels a transformative, constructivist effect on humans’ place and position in nature. This Article ultimately argues that green building is special because of its pluralistic approach to regulation, ethics, and even to nature itself.

Keywords: environment, environmental law, green building, alternative energy, environmental policy, nature, pluralistic, constructivist, transformative

Suggested Citation

Hirokawa, Keith H., At Home with Nature: Early Reflections on Green Building Laws and the Transformation of the Built Environment (October 12, 2012). Environmental Law, Vol. 39, No. 3, p. 507 (2009); Albany Law School Research Paper No. 14 of 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1468432

Keith H. Hirokawa (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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