The climate crisis is urging us to act fast. Buildings are a key leverage point in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but the embodied emissions related to their construction often remain the hidden challenge of any ambitious policy. Therefore, in this paper, we explored material GHG neutralization where herbaceous biobased insulation materials with negative net-global warming potentials (GWPs) were used to compensate for building elements that necessarily release GHGs. Different material diets, as well as different building typologies, were modeled to assess the consequences in terms of biobased insulation requirements to reach climate neutrality. Our results show that climate-neutral construction can be built with sufficient energy performance to fulfill current standards and with building component thicknesses within a range of 1.05-0.58 m when timber- and bamboo-based construction is chosen. Concrete-based ones require insulation sizes that are too large and heavy to be supported by the dimensioned structures or accepted by urban regulations. Moreover, a time horizon of 20 years is more appropriate for assessing the contribution of material shifts to biobased materials in the transition period before 2050. This paper demonstrates that this is technically feasible and that climate neutrality in the construction sector just depends on the future that we choose.

Material Diets for Climate-Neutral Construction

Carcassi, Olga Beatrice;Malighetti, Laura Elisabetta;Pittau, Francesco
2022

Abstract

The climate crisis is urging us to act fast. Buildings are a key leverage point in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but the embodied emissions related to their construction often remain the hidden challenge of any ambitious policy. Therefore, in this paper, we explored material GHG neutralization where herbaceous biobased insulation materials with negative net-global warming potentials (GWPs) were used to compensate for building elements that necessarily release GHGs. Different material diets, as well as different building typologies, were modeled to assess the consequences in terms of biobased insulation requirements to reach climate neutrality. Our results show that climate-neutral construction can be built with sufficient energy performance to fulfill current standards and with building component thicknesses within a range of 1.05-0.58 m when timber- and bamboo-based construction is chosen. Concrete-based ones require insulation sizes that are too large and heavy to be supported by the dimensioned structures or accepted by urban regulations. Moreover, a time horizon of 20 years is more appropriate for assessing the contribution of material shifts to biobased materials in the transition period before 2050. This paper demonstrates that this is technically feasible and that climate neutrality in the construction sector just depends on the future that we choose.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1210942
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