The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a briefing, which states that actions such as reducing the use of concrete, cement and steel in the building sector, can cut materials-related greenhouse gas emissions by 61% over a building’s life cycle stages until 2050. The EEA assessment presents a new methodological approach, which can help identify and prioritise circular efforts that can contribute to reducing emissions in any sector.
The briefing found that each of a building’s life cycle stages, from design, production and use, through to demolition and waste management, offers opportunity for greater circularity and emission reductions. The background study prepared for the EEA cites that up to two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions are related to flows of materials, and how they are sourced, consumed and disposed of, making it an important area for further reductions. Making buildings more circular over their life cycle means designing and using them more efficiently, making them last longer, and reusing and recycling building materials instead of continually sourcing new ones.
Source: EEA, 9 July 2020