GT2
CARBON FOOTPRINT OF MATERIALS

Group Coordinator:

Albert Sagrera y Jade Serra

Contact:

aus.gruptreball2@gmail.com

TARGET

Emissions associated with the building sector (as well as other environmental impacts) account for more than one third of society’s global emissions. The share of building materials accounts for about 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Moving towards a decarbonized built environment involves assessing the environmental and health impact throughout the entire life cycle of a building, from the production of its materials, through its commissioning, use phase and dismantling at the end of its useful life. The recent European EPBD directive, the draft of which was approved last March 2023, marks the first step towards regulating the carbon impact of construction, whose CO2 emissions will have to be declared for all new buildings from 2027. Several European countries – Finland, France, Denmark, Belgium or the Netherlands, among others – have moved ahead of the European regulation and already have decarbonization roadmaps in place, which not only require counting, but also limit CO2 emissions and other impacts associated with construction processes. The main objective of our working group is to act as an action lobby to claim and collaborate in the decarbonization of the construction sector through research, dissemination and direct action, together with related groups and associations, as well as with the administration.

TARGET

Emissions associated with the building sector (as well as other environmental impacts) account for more than one third of society’s global emissions. The share of building materials accounts for about 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Moving towards a decarbonised built environment implies assessing the environmental and health impacts throughout the entire life cycle of a building, from the production of its materials, through its commissioning, use phase and decommissioning at the end of its life. The recent European EPBD directive, the draft of which was approved in March 2023, marks the first step towards regulating the carbon impact of construction, with CO2 emissions to be reported for all new buildings from 2027 onwards. Several European countries – Finland, France, Denmark, Belgium or the Netherlands, among others – have moved ahead of the European regulation and already have decarbonisation roadmaps in place that not only require counting but also limit CO2 emissions and other impacts associated with construction processes. The main objective of our working group is to act as an action lobby to demand and collaborate in the decarbonisation of the construction sector through research, dissemination and direct action, together with related groups and associations, as well as with the administration.

WHAT WE ARE WORKING ON

WG2 is divided into different sub-working groups of thematic areas necessary to respond to the objectives set out (underlined below). The main topics covered are: investigation of building decarbonization roadmaps implemented by different EU countries through the study of regulations, implementation and roadmaps and through contact with architects and associations at international level. Analysis of how the roadmaps incorporate other environmental impacts, especially with regard to aspects related to health and biohabitability. Study and critical review of the decarbonization roadmaps of industrialized materials both at national and international level. Analysis of the environmental impact of the sector and materials in order to have reliable and continuous data, which will allow us to justify the need to act and minimize them. Evaluation of the state of the art and the short and medium term challenges of environmental product declarations. Participation in the first project to calculate the carbon footprint of residential building in Spain, INDICATE, financed by the Laudes Foundation, led by GBCe and the University of Seville and developed in collaboration with leading associations and administrations in the sector. Development of the first CO2 emissions calculation tool of the Architects Association of Catalonia in collaboration with ITeC, free of charge for all members of the Association, which will provide a reference of emissions from new buildings in different approaches. Elaboration of informative publications that reflect the necessary path to be carried out in our sector, in relation to the roadmap of decarbonization in our country, and the necessary role of decarbonization of industrialized materials.

WHAT WE ARE WORKING ON

WG2 is divided into different sub-working groups of thematic areas necessary to respond to the objectives set out (underlined below). The main topics covered are: Research of building decarbonisation roadmaps implemented by different EU countries through the study of regulations, implementation and roadmaps and through contact with architects and associations at international level. Analysis of how the route maps incorporate other environmental impacts, especially in terms of aspects related to health and bio-habitability. Study and critical review of the decarbonisation roadmaps for industrialised materials at both national and international level. Analysis of the environmental impact of the sector and materials in order to have reliable and continuous data that will allow us to justify the need to act and minimise them. Assessment of the state of the art and the short and medium term challenges of environmental product declarations and the basis of environmental targets for the Participation in the first project to calculate the carbon footprint of residential construction in Spain, INDICATE (link), financed by the Laudes Foundation, led by GBCe and the University of Seville and developed in collaboration with leading associations and administrations in the sector. Development of the first CO₂ emissions counting tool of the Col-legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya in collaboration with ITeC.

WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED

  • We have actively participated in the first conference on decarbonization of construction held at the College of Architects of Catalonia, on November 23, 2022, attended by more than 300 people and with the presence of various relevant authorities at Spanish and international level.
  • We are preparing two informative publications in relation to the decarbonization of the construction sector, which collect the work of each subgroup carried out so far. Participation in different European and national projects, in relation to the implementation of CO2 emissions calculation and limitation in the construction sector in our country.

WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED

  • We have actively participated in the first conference on decarbonisation of the construction sector held at the College of Architects of Catalonia on 23 November 2022, attended by more than 300 people and with the presence of various relevant Spanish and international authorities.
    We are preparing two informative publications in relation to the decarbonisation of the construction sector that include the work of each subgroup carried out so far. Participation in different European and national projects in relation to the implementation of CO2 emission calculation and limitation in the construction sector in our country.

PROJECTS CARRIED OUT

  • Preparation and participation in the new autumn conference on decarbonization co-organized by COAC, CSCAE and ACE.
    EMISSIONS CALCULATION TOOL. Tool developed in collaboration with ITeC, which will allow the first calculation of emissions from new buildings approved in Catalonia.
  • INDICATE PROJECT. The Indicate project, financed by the Laudes Foundation and coordinated by GBCe and the University of Seville, aims to establish the first reference index of emissions from buildings in the residential sector in our country.

PROJECTS CARRIED OUT

  • Preparation and participation in the new autumn conference on decarbonisation co-organised by the COAC, CSCAE and ACE.
    EMISSIONS CALCULATION TOOL. Tool developed in collaboration with ITeC that will allow the first calculation of emissions from newly constructed buildings approved in Catalonia.
    INDICATE PROJECT. The Indicate project, financed by the Laudes Foundation and coordinated by GBCe and the University of Seville, aims to establish the first reference index of emissions from buildings in the residential sector in Spain.

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The working groups are intended for AUS members. However, if you are interested in becoming a member, we invite you to participate and attend one of our working group meetings without joining. Most of our meetings are held online.

To request the access link, please send an email to aus.gruptreball1@gmail.com.