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Apply These Secret Techniques To Improve Zero Carbon Building

As global climate change concerns become more prominent, construction and energy efficiency are becoming more of a priority. With over 1.5 million people added to cities every week, there is a huge need to build sustainable and carbon-neutral buildings.

Getting to zero carbon requires not only efficient design, but also the use of building materials that have little embodied carbon. This includes selecting materials that may even sequester carbon from the atmosphere over time.

1. Use Low-Carbon Concrete Mixes

The construction industry is a key contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and cement is a huge source. However, innovative concrete mixes and replacement materials are showing promise for reducing concrete’s carbon footprint.

One promising option is sustainable geopolymer concrete (GPC) - cement alternatives that use industrial waste, like slag and fly ash with little to no clinker. Researchers are finding that GPC can meet sustainability goals while enhancing performance in construction projects.

In addition to reducing concrete’s environmental impact, these green mixes are also stronger and longer lasting than traditional construction materials. And they can be a good investment for a building owner, as they help reduce maintenance costs and the number of concrete repairs.

To meet the growing demand for lower-carbon materials, local and state governments are crafting policies that require low-carbon concrete. In New York, for example, the state legislature passed a bill last week that instructs the Office of General Services to establish maximum Embodied Caron Thresholds for concrete mixes used on city projects.

2. Go for Unfinished Ceilings

It’s no secret that the building industry has a long way to go in terms of carbon neutrality. That’s why many organizations, including Architecture 2030 and SE2050, have developed metrics to help measure progress towards a net zero emissions future.

One of the more interesting metrics of all is embodied carbon, the total carbon footprint associated with the materials used in your project. Luckily, there are some clever ways to reduce this particular green metric.

The most obvious one is to simply choose less wasteful materials, such as recycled content or pre-consumer waste. This will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while also saving your client money on energy bills.

But what is the best way to achieve this feat? The answer is a combination of smart design, efficient construction practices and cost effective technologies that all come together to deliver the goods. From energy efficiency to low-carbon concrete, the key is in choosing the right solutions.

3. Use Structural Materials for Finishing

With carbon emissions accounting for over 40% of global warming potential, building decarbonization is a major priority for many industry stakeholders. This is why the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has set out a goal to achieve total decarbonization of all buildings by 2030.

As part of this goal, they are encouraging building owners and contractors to move towards net, What is zero carbon building by using energy efficient materials and construction methods, deploying renewable energies, and adopting green design principles.

But reaching net zero carbon can be expensive and inefficient if not optimized for the best balance between embodied carbon and operational carbon emissions. This is why WRI has published a report to help architects and builders select the right pathway for their buildings.

It includes pathways ranging from energy efficiency to on- and offsite renewable energy, and smart use of carbon offsets as a final resort to contribute directly to governments’ zero carbon goals. They also include a portfolio approach whereby multiple buildings can be designed and operated to reach net zero carbon at once, with benefits of aggregated energy demand and the ability to target local carbon reductions.

4. Insulate Your Walls

Insulating your walls is another way to improve your home's energy efficiency. In the winter, it can keep warm air in and cold air out, while in the summer it can reduce heat loss from your home's walls.

You can insulate your walls using a variety of materials, including fiberglass batts, foam or cellulose. The type of insulation you choose depends on your budget, home construction and how it will be used.

Besides keeping your home cozy in the winter, insulation can also help keep moisture away. This prevents mold and mildew, draughts and a number of health issues.

In addition, it can make your house soundproof. By injecting insulation into interior walls, you can create a layer that absorbs noises that travel through your home from bedrooms, family rooms and bathrooms.

-- Abdul Alim - 2023-03-28


Topic revision: r1 - 2023-03-28 - AbdulAlim
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