When it comes to decarbonization in construction, we can tackle the challenge in two major domains: existing buildings and new construction.
The average lifetime of a building varies depending on material and a number of other factors but can range from 50 years for commercial buildings to hundreds of years for historic buildings. However, buildings are often underutilized and discarded before they have reached the end of their useful life, which can result in an avoidable level of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
Thus, one strategy could be to enhance the utilization of existing buildings, for instance, transforming old warehouses or plants into creative workspaces. Implementing strategic use of existing spaces and infrastructure can lead to an 11% GHG emission reduction by 2050, and a 10%-20% reduction in demand for new buildings.
Achieving zero emissions from new construction will demand that we plan, design, procure, construct, and operate energy-efficient buildings in an energy-efficient manner. Technologies to drastically reduce energy consumption in buildings already exist, though many building owners, operators, developers, and contractors are still not fully aware of them, or the value created by utilizing them.
An effective way to reduce the impact of embodied carbon in new construction is to measure it so we can compare, verify, track, and declare it. That’s exactly why key players in the industry, including our MTWO Construction Cloud partner RIB Software, have teamed up to sponsor Building Transparency’s Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3), a revolutionary tool that is turning, what has up until recently been an inexact science, into an increasingly precise calculation method that helps to quantify and measure embodied carbon and its impact on building projects.