CO2 and the built environment - The positive role of concrete

Concrete is a versatile, durable and resilient building material that is locally available across Europe. What is more, concrete buildings can deliver the lowest overall CO2 impact.  This is because, in order to realistically quantify the CO2 tag of a construction material such as concrete, it is important to look at the whole-life impact.  This includes extraction of raw materials, production & transport, building in use, lifetime and durability, and end of life.

When it comes to CO2, the use phase of a building has a very important role to play. Buildings are responsible for 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU and 40% of energy consumption. When looking at the whole life cycle of a building (including material production and construction), the use phase (heating, cooling, lighting etc.) often accounts for up to 80% of the CO2 emitted. This is where concrete can make a very positive contribution, as its durability, thermal mass and air tightness qualities help to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

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Tags: durability, CO2 savings, energy efficiency, thermal mass

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