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Net Zero Buildings: The Construction Phase


To meet the UK’s aim of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the construction and building sector has been tasked with the responsibility of measuring, reducing and offsetting carbon emissions in the industry. All new buildings are required to be net zero carbon by 2030 and all existing ones by 2050.

This mission is split into two key phases: the construction phase and then the operational phase. In this blog we will focus on the construction phase of achieving net zero carbon.

According to Peter Tse, from the BSRIA (Building Services Research and Information Association), the net zero framework is a key challenge for the construction industry as it requires us to reassess the way buildings are designed, constructed, and run. He goes on to say we need to reconsider the way we do things, commencing a cultural change.

A verified net zero carbon building is one where the embodied emission associated with the building products and the construction itself are measured, dramatically reduced, and also offset with other forms of energy i.e. renewables.

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Net Zero Carbon Buildings For Practices & Developers

Sustain Quality | Net Zero Carbon Buildings For Practices & Developers

Climate change has drawn an unprecedented amount of media attention in recent years thanks to movements like that of The Extinction Rebellion. This, paired with the Government’s motion to declare a ‘climate emergency’, have truly underlined the urgency to address carbon emissions.

According to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), global emissions must be halved by 2030 and eliminated completely by 2050. This can be found in the document, Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition, which was launched by the Houses of Parliament back in April 2019.

In order to define what ‘achieving net-zero carbon emissions’ means, the document focuses on two approaches: the construction of a building and the operation of a building.

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