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Net Zero Carbon Construction

True net carbon zero performance looks at the entire life cycle of a building: construction, in service and end of life. The Innovaré product range addresses each stage of the life cycle.

WHOLE LIFE CARBON EMISSIONS: INTRODUCING THE INNOVARE CARBON CALCULATOR

Net zero only means net zero when it calculates carbon emissions over the entire lifecycle of a building. Calculations also have to be based on reliable data and models.

Procurement teams are becoming more sophisticated in how they evaluate net zero carbon. They are moving beyond crude energy performance ratings.

Embodied Carbon – the urgent and unknown (up till now)

Innovaré have teamed up with KLH to develop an embodied carbon calculator tool. It uses data directly from the REVIT estimating tool to automatically calculate the embodied carbon of a proposed building at the design stage.

Design changes can also be modelled to refine the project until it reaches net zero for embodied carbon, while simultaneously updating the cost model.

Embodied carbon levels will receive much more attention during procurement over the next few years as it will have the most direct impact on achieving the changes required in construction mindset and methods to realise the 2050 targets. And because they are irreversible. We have the construction technology and the data to implement genuinely low carbon solutions.

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Carbon Calculator Tool Embodied Carbon Sustainable Construction

CONSTRUCTION: EMBODIED CARBON - WHY STRUCTURAL TIMBER?

Traditional construction materials and methods generate vast quantities of embodied carbon emissions. There’s no way around this. Carbon emissions happen when raw materials are extracted, processed, transported and assembled.

You can mitigate emissions by using more recycled content and potentially through carbon capture – but you can’t eliminate them. Embodied carbon emissions are irreversible.

For a building to be net carbon zero, the embodied carbon in steel, concrete and other materials has to be balanced.

Structural timber can do this. It has negative levels of embodied carbon because trees extract and store atmospheric carbon as they grow. Carbon is safely locked into the structure until the timber is burned or decomposes. That’s why Innovare’s products & solutions maximise the use of structural timber.

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IN-SERVICE: CLOSE THE ENERGY PERFORMANCE GAP

In practice, few construction projects have achieved the levels of energy efficiency modelled in the design phase.

Some of this is down to human factors. Much of it is down to inaccurate thermal insulation data for the materials used and to variances in the traditional construction process.

A net zero built environment means we have to close this gap.

To be confident of net zero in the operational phase you need to engineer the thermal performance into an airtight structure with minimal thermal bridging.

Eliminating the risk of a performance gap means using automated precision manufacturing and a high level of premanufactured content. These are at the heart of the i-SIP and i-FAST systems.

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END OF LIFE: REUSE & RECYCLE

End of life is a problem to be solved today, not some time in the future. Current building demolition and waste handling is a huge sustainability issue.

Carbon accounting also means that procurement decisions must consider how the building fabric will be dismantled and processed when the building is no longer needed.

Recycling and reusing construction materials will reduce the need to extract and process more raw materials in the future. Designing buildings with this in mind will leave a more sustainable legacy. When you specify an Innovaré system-build solution you can be confident that the building can be easily dismantled at the end of its life and the components of each panel recycled.

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External Walls

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Roofs

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Floors

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Walls

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