According to a new report from Guidehouse Insights, the global revenue for green, low-embodied carbon construction materials will grow by almost 20 per cent through to 2031.
The report, ‘Building Construction Decarbonization‘, examines the growth of green, low-embodied carbon construction materials. It leverages Guidehouse Insights reports based on the Global Building Stock Database for 4Q21, applies information on standard construction practices in different regions, and includes information from vendors, trade associations, and construction companies.
Efforts to decarbonise construction and reduce embodied carbon involve many individual initiatives implemented throughout the construction value chain, which is still in the early stages of substantially reducing carbon emissions. Reductions of embodied carbon—the emissions associated with constructing the building—are starting to have a meaningful impact now and are expected to increase in the latter part of the decade.
“Unlike efforts to reduce operational carbon emissions that show reduced fuel and energy bills in a matter of months, reducing embodied carbon emissions involves applying accounting and engineering principles to estimate the impacts of past, present, and future activities,” says William Hughes, principal research analyst with Guidehouse Insights. “A growing number of participants in the construction value chain are embracing these efforts.”
The most impactful foreseen efforts involve changes in construction materials, such as cement, steel, aluminum, glass, and wood. The carbon emissions associated with the life cycles of these materials—mining, refining, processing, and demolition—collectively produce about the same carbon emissions as all operational emissions from buildings, according to the report.
The International Energy Agency estimates that buildings, and the buildings construction sectors combined, are responsible for almost one-third of total global final energy consumption and nearly 15% of direct CO2 emissions.