Building a roadmap towards low-carbon construction

Gaia News | 02.12.2019

The aim of the roadmap is to find ways to efficiently lower emissions in built environment and to set interim targets for different actors. Just like the timetable for emission reductions, the deadline for the roadmap is demanding. First results are expected by mid-2020.

The work focuses on emissions from construction and construction materials, which amount to a quarter of a building’s total emissions. The work also takes into account the long lifecycles of buildings, from land use and zoning to use, maintenance, renovation and demolition. These phases constitute the majority of emissions. In addition to buildings, the roadmap covers also municipal infrastructure, such as roads, other traffic routes and water supply networks.

“Curbing climate change, preparing for its repercussions and safeguarding biodiversity are not only enormous challenges, they are also opportunities for the real estate and construction sector. More than a third of Finland’s carbon footprint is caused by buildings and construction, and 22% by transport and travel. It is important to better understand what can be realistically done to lower these emissions and what doing so requires”, says Aleksi Randell, Managing Director of the Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT in the press release published on 21 November 2019.

“The emissions from built environment are not only affected by building and infrastructure construction, but also by different parts of the value chain. That’s why we need co-operation and commitment from all actors.”
Finland has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2035. To achieve this ambitious goal, wide-ranging co-operation is needed, not only within industries but also between public and private sectors, and across industry lines. Finland and other Nordic countries have also already agreed on a goal to becoming global pioneers in low-carbon construction.

“The built environment plays a vital role in reducing carbon emissions, not least here in the Nordics with our challenging weather conditions. Construction sector also has a central role in the economy in general. That’s why it is so important to see the industry show leadership and set an example. I am certain that many lessons from the roadmap we are working on serve all actors in the built environment sector but can be useful in other industries as well”, says Pasi Rinne, Chairman of Gaia Consulting.

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