Tackling Climate Change by Building a Cleaner Environment

Global warming, or climate change, is the greatest environmental threat that humans have ever faced.

How we respond to this crisis will significantly affect both present and future generations, including all other species that call the Earth ‘home.’
According to the reports generated from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the global CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere has surpassed 400 parts per million. This level is considered a tipping point.

There is disturbing evidence that significant tipping points, causing irreparable deviations in major ecosystems and the terrestrial climate system, may have already been reached or passed.

The threat of runaway greenhouse warming is real, and its potential has never been more present.

However, the most extreme climate changes may still be circumvented, the tools are available, but they must be applied instantly and across all sectors.

While countries dispute over a new global treaty on carbon emission and climate change, the question on many minds is – what happens next?
Many of the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitters have already set national targets to decrease emissions, and they are shaping their own initiatives to meet those objectives.

However, in some cases, it is still not clear whether nations are doing much to meet their stated climate goals.

Construction Industry and Climate Change

As per the UK Green Building Council, the construction industry consumes more than 400 million tons of material every year, many of which have an adverse impact on the environment.

Additional research suggests that construction materials used during a specific construction job can also have an effect on the neighbouring environment – as a result of the extraction of raw materials.

According to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), a number of resources and tools regularly used by the construction firms and contract workers can significantly harm the environment and public health.

Furthermore, the construction industry in the United Kingdom accounts for over 90 million tons of non-industrial waste generation a year. With this in mind, public awareness of climate change and the danger to the environment has risen in recent times.

Activists Extinction Rebellion (XR) has disrupted central London with high-profile protests with the aims of forcing governments to pledge to more strict carbon emissions cuts.

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The climate is changing – so must the architecture

Buildings and building construction sectors consume around 30% of energy in the United Kingdom every year, and they emit nearly half of CO2 through cement production, burning of the fossil fuels such as coal, gas, and oil, and through Greenfield.

Since carbon dioxide traps solar energy in the atmosphere, it has an adverse effect on the planet – one we know as heating the planet or Global Warming.

Current statistics show that the majority (70%) of the building stock will still be around in 2050 and that they won’t conform to the existing building regulations.

This depending on how we approach it, gives us either an opportunity or a problem. Builders, architects, and contractors face a choice – to knock down and then re-construct these older buildings continuing to add to the CO2 problem or to instead renovate and remodel the built environment using environmentally friendly products to help cut emissions which can get these older buildings up scratch in a quick and cost effective way.

Significance of Sustainable Material Use in Modern Construction

Sustainability is a necessity not only for modern construction but also for climate change. It is quite a responsibility, and not just construction materials, we should be considering sustainability in every aspect of our life.

The modern construction industry, hence, is wavering between satisfying the demands of consumers, cost savings, and the responsibility to make sure that we don’t lastingly damage the environment even more.

Building for Longevity

The goal here is to build to create a more sustainable future. It is about choosing robust, high-quality materials that aren’t going to harm the environment.

Using Timber from Sustainable Sources

Wood, if grown sustainably, is renewable. Cultivating trees sustainably plays a critical role in the ecosystem as trees digest carbon dioxide, thereby protecting the planet from rising temperatures.

Therefore, if you are aiming to reduce the environmental impact on your construction project, timber-based advanced farming (optimum value engineering) could help.

Creating Highly Insulated Properties from Sustainable Materials

Sustainability of a structure only begins with its construction. That is, a building has an entire lifetime to damage Earth unless you ponder the energy-efficiency of the structure post-construction.

In the United Kingdom, energy-efficiency is the requirement of most building regulations. By combining advanced framing methods with cladding, you produce fewer carbon emissions during the building process.

Below are some environmental-friendly products that the building industry can use to prevent carbon emissions and tackle climate change.

#1 Healthy & Clean - Technical Porcelain Cladding and Wall Tiles

The elegance and beauty of porcelain cladding and wall tiles are indisputable.

With the world becoming more environmentally responsible, these self-cleaning and decontaminating tiles can actually help reduce environmental pollution.

For starters, these tiles can play a massive role in the removal of Nitrogen Oxide from the atmosphere. Also to add to that their production doesn’t require the exploitation of any other natural resources such as rock or trees.

This environmentally friendly sourcing ensures that these Technical Porcelain cladding and wall tiles contribute to protecting landscapes and forests across the globe.

The best part about having the Technical Porcelain cladding and wall tiles as your flooring option is that these tiles don’t require chemical cleaning agents.

These porcelain tiles are glazed, meaning they have zero absorption levels. This means that they cannot be infiltrated by pollutes; hence, no chemical cleaners are required, they are also incombustible.

Finally yet importantly, these Technical Porcelain cladding and wall tiles contain substantial quantities of both post-industrial and consume recycled content such as clay salvaged from mining activities, aluminium, and glass.

These tiles are produced from 100% locally resourced recycled materials.

#2 Timber Cladding

Timber cladding is a great way to protect your building and home from damaging elements. You may be aware of the aesthetic and practical advantages of timber cladding. But there are also many environmental benefits that you must know.

Timber cladding is generally utilised on the building’s exteriors, primarily for the structure’s practical and aesthetic purposes. They come in boards of different sizes and sometimes, in shingle types, panel forms, or even overlapped.

If you are someone who likes to be creative, timber cladding comes in numerous styles and designs to choose from. The best part is that you can combine timber cladding with any other material of your choice to clad your home or building.

Timber is a renewable resource. How? For starters, when trees are cut for timbers, new ones are planted in their place; hence, the resources don’t run dry.

Secondly, timber is a carbon neutral material, meaning using wood over other construction materials saves an average of 0.9 tonnes of CO2 per cubic metre. That implies every timber cladding building saves at least 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

On the other hand, 75% of the energy used in the production of timber cladding and other wood materials comes from wood residues or recovered wood. Moreover, timber cladding can be used as a burning source for energy creation once it has passed its shelf life. Also to add to this timber cladding & facades along with other types lend themselves to off site construction which is a topic many contractors are trying to solve.

Growing trees for cladding purposes removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Using timber cladding stimulates the expansion of sustainable and managed forests to absorb more of this global warming gas. Simply put, timber is an environmentally friendly construction material, which means using them won’t harm the environment. Besides, timber cladding production doesn’t require as much fossil fuel consumption as compared to other cladding materials.

#3 Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Cladding

Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Cladding was first introduced in the construction industry in the UK in the early 1970s. Today, it is one of the most eco-friendly, innovative, and functional building materials used throughout the United Kingdom and other parts of the world.

Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Cladding can be used wherever attractive, weather resistant, strong, incombustible, and light material is required. It can be used in producing architectural products like tables, urns, bollards, planters, site furnishings, cladding, column covers, window panels, and more.
The material combines the benefits of both glassfibre and concrete. On the technical front, the longevity and quality of the material facilitate avant-grade and versatile applications of a natural product.

The best part about Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete Cladding is that it can be moulded into almost any shape or colour and requires very low maintenance. This material is easy on the environment.

The product’s finishes and lacquering are eco-friendly water-based components that give off no toxins or pollutants when produced.

Conclusion

The construction sector is a significant source of pollution, contributing to 23% of air pollution and 50% of the climatic change globally.

With the advancement in technology and more awareness being spread, architects, contractors, and builders are leaning towards construction materials that are resource efficient and environmentally friendly.

As we touched on earlier current statistics show that the majority (70%) of the building stock will still be around in 2050 and that they won’t conform to the existing building regulations.

This means that the building industry will be facing some tough choices, however we hope they take the same view as us.

Why construct new buildings when you can insulate and renovate existing buildings, quicker and more cost effectively, which get the building occupied faster?

Most importantly of all using the new modern, environmentally products such as the ones mentioned above, they get all those benefits whilst also helping fight climate change for the generations to come.

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