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7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus



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  • This sector summary briefly outlines the ways we can reduce the emissions from buildings by using more or better insulation, improving heating and cooling systems, and addressing refrigerant leaks, which could make buildings more eco-friendly and healthier.
Teaching Tips


  • There are a number of solutions within this sector listed below the brief article that students can investigate.
  • More energy-efficient housing is a topic that is both important and relatable to many students.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Browse the solutions within the sector below the article to get an idea of the many solutions available that apply to buildings.
  • More specific vocabulary, such as fluorinated gas and refrigerants, could be pre-taught to help with comprehension.


  • Provide students with the opportunity to explore the "Solutions in this Sector" links below the article after reading it, possibly utilizing the jigsaw strategy and having students share new learning with other groups.
  • The "heat-trapping emissions" link is a lengthy report, so consider summarizing it for students, giving them time to explore the report with a partner, or directing them to the summary for more focused learning on the topic.
  • Have students watch this video about why sustainable housing matters and then discuss the pros and obstacles to solutions presented in both resources.
  • Discuss environmental justice as it relates to buildings and housing, focusing on the "energy burden" faced by many low-income households and renters.
  • Take a deeper dive into energy justice using this lesson plan as a starting point which allows students to analyze real energy data.
  • Language arts classes could write a persuasive essay about the importance of shifting energy sources in construction in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientist Notes
The resource introduces a solution to reducing emissions by addressing the amount of energy used in buildings and in the process of construction. It includes a brief discussion of how the construction of buildings and the energy use of buildings contributes to climate change. A few solutions to enhance efficiency and shift energy sources in order to reduce greenhouse gases are included. This site would be a great addition to a lesson discussing alternative methods to reducing carbon emissions. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.CR.11–12.1 Accurately cite a range of thorough textual evidence and make relevant connections to strongly support a comprehensive analysis of multiple aspects of what an informational text says explicitly and inferentially, as well as interpretations of the text.
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