This paper focuses on appropriation of natural capital through construction of buildings. The ecological footprint and the Costanza natural capital concepts are applied. The environmental consequences of human settlement are currently of great concern, and a need is felt to reduce the impact of building on the environment. The embodied energy of building materials and the “land area” required to sustain their production are considered to evaluate the demand on nature of this activity. The ecological footprints of 2 typical Italian buildings are compared. The paper also focuses on how to reduce the natural capital appropriation of building construction by means of environmentally inexpensive materials, renewable energy resources, and optimization of the use of bioproductive land by construction of multistoried buildings. Finally, to allocate an environmental load of buildings, an economic evaluation of natural capital appropriation through building construction is proposed.
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