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02 Feb 2023

Net Zero Carbon Buildings: The Tech to Get You There

Net Zero Carbon Buildings: The Tech to Get You There

How IoT Simplifies the Achievement of Net Zero Carbon Buildings

The government is committed to achieving net zero by 2050. According to the UKGBC’s Whole Life Carbon Road Map, buildings account for around a quarter of the UK’s carbon. This means net zero carbon buildings are going to be a vital component of broader net zero plans for the country. Green buildings also feature in the government’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution following concerns that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faced with a global climate emergency, the task to reduce emissions is an urgent one. Net zero carbon goals also need to have realistic performance targets that are set using science and data to inspire meaningful change. Once changes are implemented, data continues to play a role in maintaining standards and mapping progress.

Digital tools have the potential to assist in benchmarking, transitioning, and monitoring as net zero carbon efforts are implemented. With buildings creating such steep operational energy and embodied carbon emissions, it makes sense that the built environment presents easy gains for change around energy consumption and emissions.

What is a net zero carbon building?

Net zero carbon buildings speak to operational carbon and embodied carbon. Operational carbon refers to the daily energy requirements around a building’s operations – usually gas or electricity. Embodied carbon refers to the carbon emissions generated in the lifecycle of a building: construction, replacement, demolition, and disposal.

In net zero carbon buildings, the carbon emissions and energy requirements are limited to fit within a definition of net zero. In practice, this means buildings that display high-level energy efficiency and efficient construction services.

Net zero carbon buildings apply to both new builds and existing infrastructure – and net zero carbon relates to limiting energy requirements and emissions and rather looking to on-site renewable energy sources and offsetting energy schemes.