How does a Green Building balance carbon emissions?

 How does a Green Building balance carbon emissions?

The impact of climate change is for all to experience. It is something that none of us can now ignore. Interestingly, the built environment contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Since this has come to light, researchers have been diligently working to identify the highest emission contributors and then work at options to minimize these carbon emissions.

If statistics are to be believed, constructed spaces currently contribute to 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions: 28% from operational emissions and 11% from materials used in construction.

The world’s population forecast states that the population will approach 10 billion by the middle of the century, doubling the global building stock.

Construction Industry & Climate change

The building sector has a vital role to play in addressing climate change. The release of carbon in the construction process is referred to as upfront carbon. The forecast is that the emissions from construction will account for about half of the total greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The entry of start-ups in the construction industry is fast changing the definition of construction materials. Operating on the Circular Economy model, they have introduced eco-friendly, sustainable, and natural materials such as straw, cork, bamboo, recycled plastic, recycled fabric, coconut shells, reclaimed worm, reclaimed recycled steel, and rammed earth, to name a few. These materials typically are energy efficient, have a low to negative carbon footprint, help improve air quality, and are low on VOC emission.

What is a green building?

A building designed, constructed, or operated to minimize damage to the environment is a green building. A green building is rated on the following:

1. Location and transport

2. Sustainable sites

3.Reduced water usage

4. Energy Efficient

5. Materials Usage

6. Indoor environmental quality

7. Innovative design

Why is there a need for green buildings?

It is time to look at undertaking construction that helps development without impacting the environment negatively. Creating a space that serves its purpose without disrupting land, water, resources, and energy in and around the building, and provides healthier space indoors & outdoors for the inhabitants. Research shows benefits, green buildings, on account of providing cleaner air indoors, have been known to improve work efficiency both for humans and machines. Statistics report an improvement of up to 25-30%! Other fallouts of a green building are lower cost of construction and higher valuation of the building.

carbon-neutrality in buildingsWhat is carbon-neutrality in buildings?

In 2006, the word “carbon neutral” was featured in the New Oxford American Dictionary. Since then, it has gained widespread recognition. This concept refers to the balance between carbon dioxide emissions and carbon absorption from various systems, such as the oceans, forests, and soils. If these emissions are eliminated, the world would have a carbon-neutral economy.

A European Union Commission study reveals that natural carbon sinks can remove up to 11 gigatons of CO2 annually from the atmosphere. Unfortunately, that is not enough to prevent global warming. To become carbon-neutral, companies can either reduce their emissions to zero or purchase carbon credits. Thus, the emphasis is on choosing sustainable building materials that sequester CO2. Strawcture Agribiopanels, Cocopanels, and Agrocrete are good examples.

How are typical green building certifications being replaced by carbon-neutral green building certifications?

LEED is a globally recognized rating system. LEED Certification is granted to a building based on using strategies for energy efficiency, water efficiency, reduction of CO2 emissions, improved indoor air quality, and resource stewardship in the design and construction of the building. In effect, it rates the sustainability and environment- friendliness of a building. Besides the materials used in building construction, it also comes with a heavy ecological footprint; thus, LEED certification is becoming an important parameter in the construction industry.

Unfortunately, despite the positive effects of LEED, many architects and builders refrain from using this as a standard as they find that it increases the costs.

Fortunately, there’s a solution.

The construction industry is still trying to transform itself into a positive force for the planet by tackling various issues affecting the development of our communities and society. This multi-faceted project requires more than just ideas on paper. It involves establishing a method to help us live healthier and safer lives.

Carbon Offsets and Credits Step Up to Replace LEED with Carbon Neutral Solutions

Through the use of carbon afforestation credits, the construction industry can finally address the various issues that affect the environment and establish a more balanced solution. This method goes beyond just focusing on new buildings and community designs. It also involves addressing the emissions generated by all types of buildings and establishing better ways to replenish our ecosystems. The concept of carbon neutral building refers to the fact that a structure can reduce its carbon footprint by planting trees. It can also help establish a lasting positive effect on the planet.

Click Here to know If is it possible to reach carbon negativity.

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