It is more urgent than ever that we begin to look at how to reduce CO2 and environmental footprint of our buildings. On a global level, construction accounts for approximately 40% of global CO2 emissions. Of these 40%, building materials and construction account for 10% while building operations account for 30% (WorldGBC) Experience tells us that the embodied CO2 in new construction in the Nordic region can account for significantly more than the operating energy.
Municipalities are key actors needed to bring this number down, and help solve the global environmental crisis.
In a Scandinavian context, there has been a major focus on the energy consumption of buildings, and a general reduction thereof. Now a more holistic view of the environmental impact of buildings is necessary if we are to create more sustainable and healthy buildings.
To do this we must also focus on material choices. This is where the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) come in to play. We use these calculations to assess the environmental impact of a building and the materials of which it is composed.
Nordic governments are already looking at adapting LCA and CO2 limits into building regulations, so the agenda is undeniably becoming a central parameter that new construction will need to address.
Internationally LCA is a recognized and standardized method of mapping a building’s environmental impact during construction, operation, and demolition, in other words, the entire lifetime of the building. But regional differences in calculation methods can occur and it is therefore important to be aware of the methodology and phases included in an LCA before comparing with another.
The use of wood in construction is an obvious way to reduce the CO2 footprint of our buildings and several municipalities have addressed the agenda at the local level. As momentum and regulation grow to reduce the environmental impact of buildings and especially CO2 footprint, life cycle assessments (LCA) has become the most important tool for assessing the environmental impact of building materials and buildings.
But lifecycle assessment of wood is a complex area with many complexities, such as biogenic carbon, that needs to be addressed. The lifecycle assessment of wood is special, mostly because of the carbon sequestration, which happens during the growth and how this is accounted for.
Therefore we have created an e-learning course with the purpose to provide municipal actors with concrete knowledge about wooden constructions climate footprint to make informed decisions in planning as well as new construction.
The course purpose is to provide municipal actors with concrete knowledge about wooden construction's climate footprint, which they can use to make informed decisions in planning and new construction. The focus of the course will be on LCA, how to wood is accounted for, and what points of attention there are around the construction of sustainable wooden buildings. You will get an introduction to the fundamental concepts of the method, and we will look at wood as a building material and the LCA specifics thereof. We will introduce you to concrete cases of wooden buildings where wood have been used and how this affected their carbon footprint. We will also cover how municipalities have addressed the question and what measures they have utilized to accommodate and promote more wooden buildings.
You can start, pause and continue the course at any time, so it fits perfectly into a busy work schedule. Get started below!