Net Zero Carbon
We’re here to help you reduce your emissions and reach carbon neutral.
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The right option for you isn’t going to the be right option for another business or building portfolio. A number of key considerations need to be established, before any work is started, such as: creating a sustainable and energy-efficient strategy, analysing the investment and lifetime cost of either retrofitting or rebuilding, setting a goal to generate a high-performance building, and then establishing what the impact that is going to have on the environment.
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To simplify: embodied carbon is the carbon released in the manufacturing, production, and transportation of building materials. Operational carbon refers to the use of energy to heat, cool and power a building. Or in other words, carbon generated from the operation of the building.
As the grid decarbonises and runs increasingly on renewable energy, and technology developments mean we can operate our spaces more efficiently, attention is turning to embodied carbon; with local authorities now factoring this into planning approvals.
As a business, now is the time to seriously consider cutting your embodied emissions, otherwise achieving net zero carbon will be near enough impossible.
So, how to choose the right route for your development? Each case is unique, but we explain how to understand and weigh up your options.
From a sustainability perspective, we would always encourage the responsible use of resources and this means refurb and retrofit for the majority of cases. However, that’s not to say that building new isn’t the right way to go for your specific needs and requirements.
We help clients decide whether to refurb or divest their property by:
As part of our wider sustainability advice, we also advise clients to:
This isn’t, and can’t be, a ‘one size fits all’ approach; every case is unique and needs careful evaluation based on the life cycle impact. Various factors are considered, such as materials used, climate, design of existing buildings and the building’s structural stability.
Associate Director - EIA & Sustainability
The future needs to see developers actively looking for buildings that are suitable for refurbishment, rather than development. A circular economy approach encourages ‘retrofit first’ and the reuse of an existing building. ESG investing and Green Finance have become conventional options, with cheaper mortgage rates is just one example of the benefits of having a greener building.
Refurbished buildings can inspire equally as much as new buildings. Heritage buildings in particular are a big consideration in maintaining the importance and character of town centres, which are in danger of being lost when flattened and replaced. And if we’re to achieve the net zero emissions set out, the future needs to see developers actively looking for more buildings that are ready for refurbishment, rather than development.
Whether it’s retrofit or building new, thinking and planning smart is absolutely necessary to shape a greener future.
Adding to that is the fact that around 80% of buildings in 2050 have already been built. So whichever way you look at it, decarbonising our existing building stock is a major priority.
Embodied carbon refers to the emissions during the construction of a building rather than when it is in use.
Resilience assessments and sustainable development solutions to help you respond to the challenges of climate change.
Over the coming years the construction sector is going to play a major role in the circular economy. But, having been dominated by a one-way, linear model of production and consumption for so long, what does the transition to a circular approach mean for the built environment?