Building residential and commercial projects are progressively being designed for greater energy efficiency and general sustainability requirements. As a result of these construction trends, the built environment’s emissions have decreased significantly.
However, the elephant in the room is the exclusion of the parameter in the formula, which is the embodied energy of building materials. Given the average lifetime and energy analysis of buildings, energy used during assembly accounts for just around half of the entire carbon footprint.
The embodied energy is the other half of the equation. This is the energy necessary to gather and deliver raw materials, followed by manufacturing and shipping finished goods.
Importance of Carbon Footprint Life Cycle Study
Conducting a carbon footprint lifecycle study early in the design process lets designers and developers see where a building scores well. Furthermore, it enables them to identify alternative goods to reduce the total emissions of the house plans.
The software program accepts material quantities and classifications and calculates carbon footprint for each project category. Based on analysis results, the influence on carbon emissions varies substantially based on the material used.
The foundation of a low-carbon house design plan is the use of sustainable building materials that are sourced and produced locally. This means that the building materials have the minimum treatment and chemical additives as feasible.
Natural materials minimize emissions and pollutants. As a result, it leads to much desirable higher indoor air quality. Furthermore, limiting the use of concrete as much as feasible should be a focus for lowering a building’s carbon emissions.
Reducing Adverse Effects of Concrete
After that, the next stage is to search for ways to minimize the adverse effect of the concrete that must be deployed for structural strength or insulation properties. This can be accomplished by utilizing any locally accessible concrete or other recognized low-carbon innovative concrete.
The utilization of plant-based raw materials also allows for carbon sequestration. For every cubic foot of timber used in buildings, for example, 91kg of CO2 is saved from being emitted into the environment.
Another advantage of employing natural material in construction is that the reusable part of the wood that was used as the structure of a building can be re-processed at the end of its functional life. Some of it may be reused as insulation, while the remainder may be used as an alternative energy source.
Ecohabitation and PARA-SOL Architecture used the ideas mentioned above in constructing the S1600 prefab kit home. With the initiative, these firms are taking a huge step toward real Zero-Carbon accommodation, encompassing both embodied carbon for construction materials and carbon sequestration for the program’s very low energy requirements.