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Lack of information on carbon emissions challenges construction industry

Codes and Standards

Lack of information on carbon emissions challenges construction industry

Reports recommends whole-life carbon assessments on building projects.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | July 19, 2021

Less than 1% of new building projects are assessed to determine their carbon footprint, according to a new report by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The report cites a lack of information on embodied emissions as a key barrier. The overcome this challenge, the report calls for more data sharing, more collaboration, and increased transparency on embodied carbon and other data critical to calculating the carbon footprint of new buildings.

Half of all emissions are embodied in buildings—caused by the manufacturing of materials and the construction process—the report says. The report also calls for the industry to adopt whole-life carbon assessments and set clear targets for decarbonizing construction.

There are about 255 billion square meters of buildings in the world, with an additional 5.5 billion square meters added each year. That is equivalent to a city the size of Paris being constructed every week.

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