WorldGBC will highlight the need for the sustainable production, design, build, use, deconstruction and reuse of buildings and their materials Buildings and construction together account for 36% of global final energy use and 39% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions when upstream power generation is included.
“If we can make use of and adapt existing building and infrastructure stock, we save new carbon and resources,” Dr Ness says.
Dr Ness says he was spurred on to write the book about overbuilding when, in 2015, the Adelaide City Council and State Government together claimed that emissions had declined even though city office stock had grown substantially.
Souleles also notes that “the bones of the building are really, really good.” You don’t often hear this; there is always an excuse, such as the floor plate isn’t efficient or the ceilings are too low. However, as embodied carbon gets recognized as an issue, these excuses don’t stand up to scrutiny – because, as we keep saying, the greenest building is the one already standing.
The Up-Cycle House in Blackheath.
The Blue Mountains house restoration was driven by the concept that rather than demolishing an old home that has “reached the end of its life cycle”, it could be “up-cycled”.
The embodied energy of the existing building, a term expressing the cost of resources in both human labour and materials consumed during the building’s construction and use, is squandered when the building is allowed to decay or be demolished.