Europe builds greener

After more than a decade of tightening guidelines, Europe has made green architecture an everyday reality. […] In the United States, architects cannot make the same claim with equal confidence. Despite the media attention showered on ‘green’ issues, the federal government has yet to establish universal efficiency standards for buildings. Yet, according to some estimates, buildings consume nearly as much energy as industry and transportation combined. And the average building in the U.S. uses roughly a third more energy than its German counterpart.

— "Why Are They Greener Than We Are?" by Nicolai Ouroussoff in the New York Times Magazine