Concrete / steel / timber? embodied carbon intelligence…

A guide for clients Embodied Carbon Developing a Client Brief by the UK Green Building Council sets out how to write an effective brief for embodied carbon measurement. Having accurate assessments helps to inform early design decisions when embodied carbon can be reduced the most.

Also the UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings – A Framework Definition (2019) is the common reference for the RIBA’s 2030 Climate Challenge setting out how net zero carbon buildings are defined.

In this together – mapping pathways to zero carbon

The design community are working together in lockdown to advocate for a faster response to the climate and biodiversity emergency –  creating and sharing knowledge and know how.

Leti’s pathway to zero carbon in 100% of all new buildings by 2030 *nearly zero (NZ)

The design community are responding to the climate emergency, working collaboratively and openly sharing their approaches and responses. Architects Declare launched on the 30th May inviting practices to work together to advocate for faster change, share knowledge and collaborate with other professionals. Following on from their commission into ethics and sustainable development the RIBA published a 2030 Climate Challenge setting out targets for operational energy use, embodied carbon and water use reduction. 

The London Energy Transformation Initiative (LETI) has created a network of 1000 built environment professionals to put London on the path to zero carbon. The voluntary group is multidisciplinary, their Climate Emergency Design Guide and Embodied Carbon Primer explain how buildings can meet UK climate change targets in operational energy and embodied carbon. They identify key performance indicators, explain the role of clients/developer in decision making – and the role of policy makers and designers in strategy and implementation. They identify actions by RIBA Stages and offer useful case studies throughout. 

They note that for new buildings to operate at net zero carbon by 2030 all new buildings will need to be designed to this standard by 2025. This is why practices like Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios have mapped out their route to Net Zero Carbon starting with all the projects at stage 0-2 currently in their studios – leaving time to monitor completed projects in the lead into 2030. 

RIBA Somerset Passivhaus in Practice

With climate emergency on many local councils’ agendas, now more than ever is the time for architects to grapple with low to zero energy building. Join RIBA Somerset members Michael Williams from MJW Architects and Wiebke Rietz from Alchemellia Architects as they talk about how they are embedding Passivhaus techniques in their practice. Anne-Marie Fallon from Architype will also discuss how Architype have scaled up Passivhaus to use the exacting low energy design standard in schools and housing. Thomas Gaertner from SE3 Design will talk about health and Passivhaus. #architecture #climate #passivehaus

Canalside Conferences (Jn24, M5) 4.45pm to 7.30 on the 30th April. A few tickets remaining £22 to non-members, £10 members.

energy city ‘demonstratorium’ – Frederikhavn – Denmark

Frederikhavn is a coastal town with a population of 23,295 with a plan to become zero carbon by 2030. The town and district already used twenty percent renewable energy in 2006. The annual energy demand per person was around 0.025 MWh/p/yr and about thirty percent energy use is attributed to transport. “Energy City Frederikshavn has the main responsibility for creating growth in the field of “energy” by creating a ’demonstratorium’ for the testing of sustainable climate and energy technologies in the scale 1:1.”

It is proposed that the following technologies are to be used:

  • Solar powered heating.
  • Wind power.
  • Waste heat from the wastewater treatment.
  • Geothermal heating and storage.
  • Bio gas for transport in the natural gas system.
  • Methanol for other vehicles and electric cars.
  • Bio diesel and bio gasoline.

The project is led by the local authority and has a secretariat a fund a steering committee and a set of working groups. It employs seven people and has an annual fund of about £330,000 per year.

One exemplar project was a new heat pump at the wastewater treatment plant in Frederikshavn that was connected to the collective district heating system. The heat pump uses cheap, surplus electricity from offshore windmills nearby Frederikshavn and heat from the sewage plant to supply heat for a district-heating network in Frederikshavn, corresponding to approx. 400 households. The heat pump is one of the first of its kind in Denmark.

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city scale transition – Sydney

The city of Sydney has prepared a decentralised energy masterplan towards their aim of becoming 100% zero carbon by 2030. The plan makes a careful analysis of how energy is currently used in the city and maps land use together with gas and electricity use to identify the most intense areas of carbon emissions. These areas are then zoned for the introduction of low carbon infrastructure. In Sydney this means bringing Tri-generation closer to areas of demand. Rather than generating power remotely using coal Tri-generation generates electricity locally from gas, reducing energy lost in transmission and using the waste heat produced productively for heating or cooling.

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