Enquire Now

Enquire Now

Sign Up to stay in the know

What Will It Take to Make Buildings Carbon Neutral?

Buildings are the single largest contributor to the worlds carbon footprint accounting for roughly 50 percent of a city’s total carbon emissions, and 70 percent in major cities like London. But what will it take to make buildings carbon neutral?

The carbon neutral status is desired more than ever as climate change has become a mainstream issue across nearly all industries – including construction. Changing how new buildings are built has major implications for the future and supports goals such as the World Green Building Council plans at COP 21 in Paris in 2015, which states that by 2050—when 68 percent of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas—all buildings will only use as much energy as they generate.
 

What can be done?

This will require the adoption of integrating passive design strategies, designing a high-performance building envelope, specifying energy efficient HVAC systems, lighting and appliances, installing on-site renewable energy and offsetting any remaining carbon.

Addressing the main energy ‘hogs’ - including heating, cooling, hot water, and lighting which are the primary energy loads in most buildings - is a key starting point towards carbon neutrality.  Good insulation in everything from the walls to the floor to the ceiling can help eliminate air leakage, which can account for at least 25 percent of heating loss. Installing an effective ventilation system is also a step contractor must take.

It’s more than just the end result

It is important to understand that a net zero carbon building minimises greenhouse gas emissions at all stages of the project, including the manufacturing process, during construction and during its use. Therefore, the construction of carbon neutral buildings requires more focus than just the end result.

Training is key to success – ensuring designers and builders know how to erect green buildings, so tenants and operators can ensure that buildings actually function at high efficiency, and so codes are enforced.

Cities have a part to play

However, it isn’t just the construction industry that play a part in making buildings carbon neutral. Cities need to have in place a climate action plan; robust building codes that keep up with energy-efficient technology and design; and energy-intensity targets that will guide buildings toward zero carbon emissions.

Carbon neutral is achievable if we all work together towards the same goal!

 

  • Share

More News...