Infrastructure design has to be renewed

Created: January 9, 2019. Updated: January 17, 2020.

Infrastructure design has a key role to play in the decarbonization of the built environment. “Infrastructure designers have to move away from the traditional thinking of designing infrastructure,” says Dr. Heleni Pantelidou, Associate Director Infrastructure, Arup.

Since the carbon footprint of infrastructure is a big part of the national carbon footprint, infrastructure design plays a key role in the decarbonization of the sector.

“Low carbon infrastructure is very much about low carbon materials and efficient design. But most important is the concept that an infrastructure asset is a capital cost and carbon investment that is going to enable more efficient low carbon operation of our society for many years to come,” says Heleni Pantelidou.

With lower carbon comes lower costs – whether it is in the capital part of the project or in the operational part once the asset is finished.

“When working with carbon reduction on infrastructure projects, priority number one has to be a set target that everybody agrees with.”

Heleni Pantelidou argues that the target has to be agreed on and adhered to by the whole team and not just the carbon manager, if it is to be achieved.

“The big opportunities, the great ideas, the innovation and different designs is going to come from the team together,” she says.


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The Construction Climate Challenge (CCC) is an initiative hosted by Volvo Construction Equipment to promote sustainability throughout the entire construction industry value chain and provide funding for environmental research. The Construction Climate Challenge is a part of the Volvo CE commitment to WWF’s Climate Savers Program. Volvo Construction Equipment is a Corporate Advisory Board member of the World Green Building Council.

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