There is much being written about how buildings can be a big part of the solutions to truly sustainable cities and a big part of this claim hinges on their perceived ability to deliver not only net carbon zero or positive outcomes but other essential ecosystem services as well.

But how much is pie-in-the-sky and how much is grounded in reality? There is no doubt that on-site and off-site renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and innovative carbon sequestering structural materials will have a major role to play in moving buildings toward a more sustainable future. There is also no…