Zero carbon buildings are inevitably receiving the merit they deserve as a crucial climate solution. Indeed, buildings are accountable for nearly 40% of global greenhouse emissions (World Economic Forum, 2021). The promotion of public enthusiasm and global initiatives are then positively correlating with interest and investment in zero carbon buildings. The concern that certainly follows is: how buildings can achieve net zero and reduce their carbon emissions?
To achieve zero carbon buildings the design process must be developed accordingly. The electrification of heating in buildings must be regarded as a vital step, alongside the decarbonisation of the building’s electric power grid. By cutting demands with improvements in efficiency and having the required flexibility in fulfilling the needs of both the building’s occupants and the energy grid with appropriate digitalisation, a building can surely achieve net zero.
A building’s operational energy use has conventionally been thought to determine net zero carbon. In truth, a comprehensive definition of net zero must include proven emissions from a building’s whole life cycle. Material sourcing and construction, must be considered in any equation as well as its repair, replacement, maintenance and ultimate demolition.
As mentioned, carbon studies have usually focused on assessing each stage individually, either focusing on physical carbon – materials used and construction stages in the build – or then they have regarded operational carbon during the life of the building. While this methodology is sufficient for assessing the essential contributors of carbon, to answer how building can achieve net zero, the entire building lifecycle’s carbon must be evaluated.
Data is the modern substitute to fighting the collateral effects and it is a fundamental piece to completing the jigsaw of ecological progress. Data can utilise standardised metrics and monitor the operation of new proposals in the quest to achieve net zero.
Technologies like that of BlockDox, can help provide insights into your building's health and needs.
Rather than replacing them with new builds, a rising number of urban projects are likely to repurpose buildings to fulfil the UK’s net zero carbon targets. Certainly, the built infrastructure can evolve to net zero emissions by fusing design strategies, electrical grid improvements, and manufacturing improvements.
Data is reaching the altitudes of educated attitudes. The cause is now backed by irrefutable facts which can battle the challenges of achieving consistency, accuracy and credibility in carbon models. Just as BlockDox has committed to proving, behaviours and technology can work together to analyse the full carbon impacts of a project over its life and in this marriage, the answer to how buildings can achieve net zero and reduce their carbon emissions lies.