Significant Advancement in Green Construction Sector: New Study Outlines Methods for Reducing Greenhouse Emissions within Construction and Building Activities

Posted On September 24, 2021     

The United States is expected to enter a building boom. From 2017 to 2050, it is expected to take on construction equal to 20 times New York City. However, simultaneously, the country needs to meet its climate targets and reduce its GHG (Greenhouse gas) emissions. Concerns on the country's climate goals are highly relevant as its buildings account for 27% of its total emissions.
 
A newly published research addresses these conflicting demands of boom and pollution by providing policymakers with the necessary tools and information to take appropriate action. The study showcased emissions for all buildings across the U.S. and divided them under two GHG reduction scenarios. Researchers took up a bottoms-up approach and developed a reference design relying on a set of commercial and residential building models. The study could be highly advantageous for Green Construction Sector as it provides appropriate designs that would help the country reduce its GHG emissions. The detailed study even differentiated the designs based on HVAC efficiency, slab and roof insulation, and construction materials such as concrete and wood.
 
The team discovered that "embodied" emissions (Emitted from production and construction of materials) would account for one-fourth of total emissions that occur between 2016 ad 2050, even if extensive construction is undertaken. Moreover, numerous regions would have distinct priorities in reducing GHG reductions. For instance, West would experience benefits from embodied emission reductions. Similarly, Midwest would be better off reducing emissions related to energy consumption. The team is optimistic that once these regional priorities are pursued aggressively, emissions within the building sector could decrease by almost 30% between 2016 and 2050.
 
Furthermore, researchers also discovered that western regions of the United States would get the most prominent reduction opportunities if interventions are done towards the residential emissions. A vital sector constitutes 90% of the region's total emissions over the analysis period that has been undertaken.
 
The high residential emissions result from the region's sudden population surge and the gradual growth within the housing stock. Thus, the solutions proposed by the team included low-carbon binders for the production of concrete. They added all the improvements that can be made to energy codes involving the residential buildings.
 
The overall findings present in the study represent the possibilities in the building sector concerning GHG emissions. Further, the team also relays all the possible improvements while considering the regional variations and their impact on the environment.

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