The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Yale Center for Ecosystems + Architecture (Yale CEA)

Building Materials and the Climate: Constructing a New Future” is the product of the generous dedication and extraordinary investment of numerous individuals, whose knowledge, expertise and insight helped shape this important body of work. UNEP acknowledges the contributions made by many governments, individuals and institutions to the preparation and publication of this report.

Special thanks are extended to: This publication was financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

Key  Personnel

Lead Authors

Anna Dyson

Yale Center for Ecosystems + Architecture (Yale CEA)

Naomi Keena

McGill University

Mae-ling Lokko

Yale CEA, US; Willow Technologies

Barbara Reck

Yale School of the Environment

Christina Ciardullo

American Institute of Architects (AIA); Yale CEA

Overall Supervision

Jonathan Duwyn


Sophie Loran




Contributing Authors

Mohamed Aly Etman

Yale CEA, US

Frederick Wireko Manu

Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Ghana Building and Roads Research Institute (CSIR-BRRI)

Alejandra Acevedo de los Rios

University of Lima, PE; Université catholique de Louvain

Marco Raugei

Oxford Brookes University

Eero Puurunen

Nzinga Mboup


Ibrahim Niang

Agence D’Architecture et de Recherche MBN

Daniel R. Rondinel-Oviedo

McGill University

Jaime M. Sarmiento-Pastor

University of Lima

Andrés M. Lira-Chirif

University of Lima

Aishwarya Iyer

Yale School of the Environment

Yuan Yao

Yale School of the Environment

Vicky Achnani

Yale CEA, Carnegie Mellon University

Hind Wildman

Yale CEA

Research Team Members

Rosemary Sarfo Mensah


Kingdom Ametepe


Alexandre Bouffard

McGill University

Jaione Aramburu

University of Lima

Martha Pomasonco

University of Lima

Seth Embry

Yale CEA

Dita Zakova


Juan Skinner



Narasimha D. Rao, Yale School of the Environment, US; Edgar Hertwich, Department of Energy and Process Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NO; Sharon Prince, Grace Farms Foundation, US; Nora Rizzo, Grace Farms Foundation, US; Paul Bradley, Lendlease Americas, US; Ernest Dione, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Senegal, SN; Jérôme Bilodeau, Natural Resources Canada, CA; Donovan Storey, Reall, UK; Luca de Giovanetti, World Business Council For Sustainable Development, CH; Veronica Contucci, World Business Council For Sustainable Development, CH; Foster Osae-Akonnor, Ghana Green Building Council, GH; Kisa Zehra, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, UK; Sanjay Seth, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), IN; Dr. Rana Veer Pratap Singh, TERI, IN; Tom Sanya, University of Cape Town, ZA; Elizabeth Wangeci Chege, SEforAll, KE; Adrian Jackson, formerly WorldGBC, ES; Oliver Rapf, Buildings Performance Institute Europe, BE; Anna Zinecker, Programme for Energy Efficiency in Buildings, DE; Adriana Salazar Ruiz, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, DE; Ian Hamilton, University College London, UK; Zslot Toth, Buildings Performance Institute Europe, BE; Daniel Reißmann, German Environment Agency, DE; Tilly Lenartowicz, MASS Design Group, US; Kelly Doran, MASS Design Group, US; James Kitchin, MASS Design Group, US; Megan Kalsman, Carbon Leadership Forum, US; Meghan Lewis, Carbon Leadership Forum, US; Wolfram Schmidt, German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, DE; Jason Vollen, AECOM, US.


The Yale Center for Ecosystems + Architecture (CEA) is a multidisciplinary research venture led by the Yale School of Architecture, and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, to develop transformative systems for the Built Environment. Alongside our partners in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) Industry, CEA seeks to address the complexity of transitioning global construction patterns by bringing together deep expertise of current practices with radically new socio-economic and technical approaches. We prioritize the requirements of living ecosystems towards buildings and cities that support biodiversity with an integrated approach to clean energy, water, air and material life cycles.​

CEA Team: Anna Dyson, Mae-Ling Lokko, Hind Wildman, Mohamed Aly-Etman, Vicky Achnany, Christina Ciardullo,  Seth Embry

UN Environment Programme is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. UN Environment works with governments, the private sector, civil society and with other UN entities and international organizations across the world.

UN Environment team: Jonathan Duwyn, Sophie Loran, Pauline Guerecheau, Yijun Cui

The Yale University School of Architecture mission is to educate architects, scholars, teachers and leaders who will shape the future through design. Located in New Haven, the School offers professional and post-professional architecture degrees as well as the interdisciplinary Master of Environmental Design; it also supports an undergraduate architecture major and a Ph.D. Program. The Yale School of Architecture is home to the Jim Vlock First Year Building Project and Perspecta: the Yale Architectural Journal, along with influential exhibition and lecture programs.

The Yale University School of the Environment faculty, students, and alumni are conducting innovative research that is changing how we understand and approach the environment, conservation, and sustainability. We’re turning wood into biodegradable plastics, re-imagining the urban tree lifecycle, and engineering plants to fight climate change — creating critical knowledge and new perspectives to solve environmental challenges across multiple disciplines and scales.

McGill University is one of Canada's best-known institutions of higher learning and one of the leading universities in the world. International students from more than 150 countries make up nearly 30% of McGill's student body ‒ the highest proportion of any Canadian research university. McGill is recognized around the world for the excellence of its teaching and research programs.

Willow Technologies is a sustainable building and biobased materials technology company based in Accra, Ghana. Founded in 2017, it aims to drive the research and development of biobased, agricultural by-product and earthen materials across the building, textile and food sectors. Willow collaborates with local and global partners — from start-ups, private institutions and governmental research organization— to accelerate the research, development and deployment of low carbon materials. A central priority across Willow’s projects and collaborations is to bridge intersectoral materials gaps by developing undervalued material resources for innovative, high-value applications.