Using recycled building materials or materials that contain recycled content is a straightforward step to sustainability for building designers and construction professionals.
Reducing the operational carbon output of buildings has long been an important topic of discussion, but drilling down even further, the architecture, engineering and construction industries are now turning an eye to embodied carbon. Embodied carbon of building materials refers the amount of carbon that is emitted to produce and transport building materials before they hit the jobsite.
Building designers, property managers and governments all have a vested interest in energy efficient buildings. Electricity use eats up much of a building’s operating budget, and operators are looking for savings along with the green halo of running an efficient building.
Aging buildings don’t always need to be torn down. Adaptive reuse – where an existing building is repurposed for a use other than its original design – can net huge benefits for cost savings and the environment, and also play a part in preserving heritage as historical elements of a building can stay intact.
With the commercial and residential building sector accounting for 39 per cent of CO2 emissions in the United States per year, building owners, occupants and the public are showing interest in building materials that are not only aesthetically pleasing but safe for the planet.