A progress report of the Green Construction Board Low Carbon Routemap for the Built Environment has been produced by Arup and researchers from CIEMAP (Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products) at Leeds University.
The Routemap serves as a visual tool enabling stakeholders to understand the policies, actions and key decision points required to achieving a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment.
The Routemap sets out actions, together with key performance indicators that can be used to deliver and measure progress in meeting 2050 targets.
The GCB Routemap covers both infrastructure and buildings sectors, and addresses segments of operational and capital (embodied) carbon emissions.
The emissions covered by the Routemap are:
– Operational carbon in buildings: emissions from regulated energy use (excluding plug loads) for all domestic and non-domestic building sectors except industrial.
– Operational carbon in infrastructure: emissions from outdoor lighting, waste from construction, demolition and excavation, and water/ wastewater. The use of transport infrastructure (by cars for example) is excluded. Some components of infrastructure that include buildings (such as railway stations) are included in the analysis, but appear under buildings.
– Capital carbon: covers emissions arising from the production and manufacture of materials (in the UK and abroad), transport of materials and people, all industry design and consultancy activities, and the emissions from on-site activities for the construction and demolition of buildings and infrastructure.
The researchers have found that there was an 11% reduction in emissions in 2012 versus the 1990 baseline. This is less than the reduction the sector had achieved in the year 2009, which was determined as 17%. Overall the findings indicate an increase in built environment emitted carbon and a widening of the gap to the 50% sector reduction ambition by 2025.
These findings show the scale of the challenge ahead to achieve the UK’s 2025 ambition of a 50% carbon emissions reduction. The built environment needs to find a further 39% reduction in carbon emissions against the 1990 baseline.