Article: Paving the Way for Net Zero Architecture

Article: Paving the Way for Net Zero Architecture

WSA is acutely aware of the climate crisis and how variable the architectural industry can be with environmental objectives. It also understands that inaction is too high a price to pay - buildings are responsible for 39% of all worldwide carbon emissions.

Typically, operational carbon - the energy used ordinarily by a building, which makes up around 28% of emissions - has been the focus of most efforts to trim down carbon emissions in the construction sector. Embodied carbon, which is often disregarded, accounts for 11% and comprises all the emissions related to the actual construction, including extraction, transportation, and installation of materials on-site.

There are, though, many ways in which to reduce the carbon footprint and pave the way for net zero architecture. The first of these is to utilize low carbon materials, such as 3D-printed clay, recycled materials, and biomaterials This approach presents a substantial opportunity for embodied carbon reduction through strategy, design, choice of material, and specification.

The potential environmental impact of the entire building must then be considered in a full building lifecycle analysis. This allows architects to highlight possible environmental difficulties and find more sustainable solutions. This entails generating an inventory of pertinent material inputs and environmental outputs connected to a building, which are then assessed for potential impacts.

Furthermore, several materials, such as concrete, permit the architect to ask to see the embodied carbon footprint data of the mix designs, of which there are many.

A recent analysis claims that while buildings that add up to a city the size of London are being constructed every single week, less than 1% of them have had their carbon footprints appraised. Each year, the building sector produces 14 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases. To meet the targets of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which strives to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, this must be cut in half by 2030 and to zero by 2050. WSA is committed to being at the forefront of this crucial revolution.