As the energy consumed by buildings gets cleaner, the materials used to build them will play a larger role in their overall carbon footprint. In 2018, the building industry produced 39% of energy and process-related CO2 global emissions. Included in this number is the manufacturing of building materials such as steel, cement, and glass, which accounted for 11% of emissions. These are called embodied emissions, baked into the building’s carbon footprint and are not affected by later decisions like powering the building with renewable energy.
Today, the embodied carbon of construction is roughly 3.7 billion metric tons CO2 each year. The World Green Building Council has issued a call to reduce embodied carbon by 40% by 2030 in new and renovated buildings and to reach net-zero embodied carbon by 2050. The advancement of zero-carbon buildings is both possible and cost effective with UBQ™, from flooring to piping and beyond.