Although numerous jurisdictions have established design guides for tall mass timber buildings, architects and engineers often do not have access to the specialized building science knowledge required to deliver well-performing mass timber buildings. Mass Timber Institute(MTI) worked collaboratively with industry, design professionals, academia, researchers and code experts to develop the scope and content of this mass timber building science primer.
This report introduced mass timber building systems, which are made of wood products that are engineered to be strong, durable and fire-resistant. The report explains how mass timber buildings can be designed, constructed and evaluated in Canada, and what are the benefits and challenges of using this building system. It also compares mass timber buildings with other building systems in terms of environmental impacts and life cycle assessment.
Although various timber buildings have been built globally but the industry is still in its infancy. There are still many challenges to overcome in order to improve the uptake of mass timber in the construction industry. This initiative aims to improve the perception of mass timber in the Milanese, Italian and EU context through collective learning and a strategic communication strategy involving key stakeholder groups, the so-called ‘Big Six’: developers, investors, cities, designers, insurers, and assets owners.
As a joint effort of Perception of Timber at MIND project led by Climate-KIC and Lendlease, supported by Built by Nature, the report illustrates the Timber Perception Lab, an initiative that aims to promote the use of mass timber construction in Italy, and it outlines the next steps and goals for the second year of the initiative, such as expanding the network, scaling up the prototype, and influencing policies and regulations.
International Energy Agency (IEA); International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA); United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champions
The Breakthrough Agenda Report 2023 is an annual collaboration between theInternational Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations Climate Change High-Level Champions, focused on supporting stronger international collaboration to drive faster reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. This year’s report shows that current efforts on clean energy and sustainable solutions, while improving, are not yet delivering the levels of investment and deployment required to meet international climate goals. In response, it calls on governments to strengthen collaboration in key areas – such as standards and regulation, financial and technical assistance and market creation – to turbocharge the transition.
The 2023 edition, following the development of the Buildings Breakthrough, includes a Buildings chapter, developed in collaboration with GlobalABC and where five areas are identified as priorities for international collaboration to deliver near-zero emissions and resilient buildings: Standards and certification; Demand creation; Finance and investment; Research and deployment; and Knowledge and capacity-building.
Member companies of the Global Cement and Concrete Association have come together as leaders in the sector to commit to producing net zero concrete by 2050, in line with global climate targets – accelerating the CO2 reductions that we have already achieved. The GCCA 2050 Net Zero Roadmap sets out in detail how collectively, in collaboration with built environment stakeholders and policymakers, we will fully decarbonise the cement and concrete industry and provide net zero concrete for the world.
The buildings and construction sector is by far the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for a staggering 37% of global emissions. The production and use of materials such as cement, steel, and aluminum have a significant carbon footprint.
Historically, much of the sector's progress has centered around reducing the "operational” carbon emissions of buildings – those emissions stemming from heating, cooling, and lighting. Projections suggest that these operational emissions will decrease from 75% to 50% of the sector's total emissions in the coming decades.
However, solutions to mitigate the buildings "embodied" carbon emissions – originating from the design, production, and deployment of materials such as cement, steel, and aluminum – have lagged. To effectively address this challenge, international action and collaboration must bring together all stakeholders from across the entire lifecycle of the buildings sector, both within informal and formal settings.
Building Materials and the Climate: Constructing a New Future, a report developed by UNEP, Yale Center for Ecosystems + Architecture in the framework of the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC), highlights the pressing need to establish innovative cooperation models to decarbonize building materials. These models are critical if we are to achieve the world's ambitious target of net zero emissions from the built environment sector by mid-century.
The report also pinpoints three overarching strategies which need to be implemented together to decarbonize building materials:
Avoid unnecessary extraction and production.
Shift to regenerative materials.
Improve decarbonization of conventional materials.
By implementing these strategies jointly, we can pave the way for a greener, more sustainable built environment, aligning with our global climate objectives.
The roadmap outlines the New Zealand cement and concrete industry’s commitment to achieve net-zero concrete production by 2050. The roadmap sets targets for a 44% reduction in direct and electricity-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, aligning with global standards.
The roadmap also showcases the industry’s efforts and innovations to reduce emissions and enhance the sustainability of concrete, and it aims to support the New Zealand government’s climate change goals and contribute to the global net zero movement.
RMI’s insight brief The 3Cs of Innovation in Low-Carbon Concrete: Clinker, Cement, and Concrete provides a one-stop shop for understanding the landscape of emerging and alternative technologies to decarbonize concrete and cement. The insight brief details the pros and cons of each innovation and provides a technology’s applicability evaluation framework for assessing which of these technologies are most effective for their unique conditions.
The concrete and cement industry currently accounts for 7-8% of global CO2 emissions, and the sectoral emissions will continue to increase if we keep making concrete the way it is produced today. The coming years will see significant growth in demand for concrete, particularly in the Global South, which means bringing many brand-new plants online. This provides a prime opportunity for investing in low- and zero-carbon concrete and cement production capacities to avoid locking in emissions for decades.
There is no silver bullet to decarbonize concrete and cement. On the one hand, the technologies that are readily available today, such as energy efficiency improvements, will not get us to net-zero by 2050. On the other, the most mature carbon capture technology today can achieve significant emission savings, but is expensive and energy intensive. Many policy-makers, investors, researchers, and industry stakeholders have expressed interest in understanding the new and emerging technologies that can accelerate the sectoral transition.
This report adds a GlobalABC Roadmap for the Arab region, covering 22 countries. This wide approach was taken thanks to UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure’s vision to facilitate a step towards the achievement of the decarbonisation of the whole region. It builds on GlobalABC global and regional roadmaps for buildings and construction, tailoring its strategic approach and examples for operationalisation and implementation to the specific context of the Arab region. A distinctive feature of this roadmap is its response to diverse energy-related status quos in the buildings and construction sector across the region and across the eight activities structuring each GlobalABC roadmap. Different starting points call for different strategies and focal points. For this reason, guidance in this document is presented like a menu for early starters, moderately advanced, or advanced countries. This means Arab countries can pick the most suitable guidance relative to how advanced they evaluate themselves relative to an activity.
The World Green Building Council’s (WorldGBC) Europe Regional Network (ERN) has released a policy briefing which provides detailed guidance on Whole Life Carbon (WLC) reporting and target setting in the built environment.
Buildings account for around 40% of energy consumption and 36% of carbon emissions in Europe, which includes both the operational carbon of buildings from when they are in use, as well as the carbon impact of the manufacturing, transportation, construction, and end-of-life phases of built assets, often called embodied carbon. Meeting the EU Green Deal’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 will require policymakers to introduce measures that address the Whole Life Carbon (WLC) impact, both operational and embodied carbon, of buildings.
WorldGBC’s policy briefing gives recommendations on how the European Commission and EU member states should implement three key aspects of WLC policy when it is formally introduced into key legislation such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).
The three main sections of the paper cover recommendations on how to harmonise and standardise WLC reporting, plus how to define the physical scope of a building for WLC assessments, and how to construct WLC targets (known as the ‘architecture’ of WLC targets).
This report shows how the building industry can bring up-front materials emissions down to zero. It explores our current understanding of cradle-to-gate (CtG) embodied carbon emissions, otherwise known as up-front emissions from materials captured in lifecycle phases A1-A3, in new home construction and the building industry’s ability to mitigate these emissions down to zero (or even to become net carbon storing). We demonstrate how this can be done without any negative repercussions for continuing efforts to bring operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to zero, providing the market with clear directions for fast, practical, and cost-effective change.