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  • Neil Harrison

Carbon pressures lurk at all levels of building – from home extensions to giant office complexes...

Updated: Jun 17, 2023

We at Mint Builders of Cheltenham and the Cotswolds are, of course aware of the ongoing zero carbon pressures existing with the our building industry at all levels – from major build schemes to modest domestic extensions and developments. This IS an unavoidable issue which represents a true challenge and one which we all become a little more aware of day by day – that is for sure.

Online recently, the Renovation and Refurbishment magazine highlighted a telling informative zero-carbon consideration review article from Jason Stapley of the Pagabo business, who are a leading build procurement company.

zero-carbon

Jason points out numerous telling facts indicating that to stand any chance of meeting the UK government’s targets, 100 per cent of all new buildings being designed need to be zero-carbon within the next five years, and 100 per cent of all new buildings constructed must be zero-carbon within the next decade.

circular economy

He adds “Procuring new developments through effective framework agreements is one way of moving more swiftly to a zero-carbon circular economy, Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to build 230 billion square metres of new construction, adding the equivalent of Paris to the planet every single week. This means that we must act now to meet the challenge of building net zero developments not just to meet government targets in the UK, but also to create a better future for every person on the planet.”

carbon neutrality

Jason suggests, the first challenge is the understanding of what the move to carbon neutrality means from a construction point of view. However, he says, when discussing carbon neutrality in construction, for sure more education is still needed. He indicates that achieving Net Zero is not simply about the construction phase, it is about whole life Carbon Effect.

end-of-life

The carbon footprint of any building is made up of a combination of embodied and operational carbon – i.e. producing a building’s materials, their transport and installation on site, as well as their disposal at the end of life, and how the building is run operationally following occupation, including maintenance, repair and replacement”

future generations

Whole life cost is the second big challenge. It’s imperative that people understand that building something now, doesn’t mean building something for themselves. While they may use the building in the short term, they are really constructing something that will be there for several decades at least – so they are building for future generations.

future benefits

So, it’s not about a race to the bottom and building the cheapest now. We must examine how we don’t just ‘hit’ targets but the need to exceed them for the future benefit. This is all a challenging 'big-picture' for sure, offering a context for all engaged in building at every stage and level from giant office block development to domestic homes and even their extensions.

embodied carbon

He adds finally, “Simply put, if we invest our money into better quality materials, processes and techniques today, there will be greater benefit down the line. We must remember that end of life can provide a significant input into the level of embodied carbon of any building as well, whether it be a mechanical refit, refurbishment or demolition.”

We at Mint Builders are here to help with any questions and ideas as to considered products to be used when you are ready to plan for your 2021 home extension or renovation. We also have expert contacts on hand to help you gain the style, and look that you want and need in these unique times.

Please request your project planning and quotation visit to refurbish or extend your home for now and on into this uncertain, environmentally-conscious future of ours. Contact Mint Builders on 07734 211958 or email simon@mintbuilders.co.uk

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