Sustainable building and reducing CO2 emissions: everything you need to know

Sustainable construction refers to an approach that aims to design, construct and manage buildings in a way that maximises the efficiency of the resources used, minimises environmental impact and promotes a healthy and sustainable environment.

The importance of sustainability in construction is crucial in addressing challenges such as climate change and the reduction of natural resources. Indeed, it can be said that this sustainable approach reduces the negative impact on the environment and, at the same time, also aims to reduce long-term costs and promote more responsible building.

There are advantages on all fronts, and this is precisely why, today more than ever, there is talk and push towards sustainable and green building.

Link between sustainable construction and reduction of CO2 emissions

The construction of buildings, structures and infrastructure contributes substantially to the increase of CO2 emissions into the environment. From what has been said, the link between the two clearly emerges, as is the link between sustainable construction and emission reduction.

If constructing a building pollutes, both during construction and for the materials used, precautions must be taken to ensure that the construction process is the least impactful possible on the environment.

Specifically, CO2 emissions are the direct result of the use of unsustainable materials, inefficient construction processes and inappropriate energy systems.

The adoption of sustainable construction practices allows this problem to be addressed and a solution to be sought.

Using materials with a low environmental impact, recycled materials or even recyclable materials is becoming increasingly essential.

This is also because the use of energy used in the production of the materials themselves is reduced, with a clear cut to emissions right from the initial stage of the building process.

We can say, therefore, that investing in sustainable construction practices is not just a theoretical solution but an effective strategy for reducing CO2 emissions.

Use of recycled, recyclable and environmentally sustainable materials

When one thinks about the process of constructing buildings or infrastructure, the first thing that comes to mind is concrete.

A material as fundamental as it is polluting. It can be said, indeed, that concrete has a significant environmental impact due to the carbon dioxide emissions that occur during the manufacturing phase, but not only.

Concrete is mainly composed of cement, gravel, sand, water and other additives, and cement production is itself responsible for a significant amount of CO2 emissions.

Cement, specifically, is produced by calcination of limestone, a process that releases large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere.

It should also be noted that the mixing of concrete ingredients requires energy, both to run the machines and to heat water.

The transport of raw materials and concrete itself can also lead to increased CO2 emissions, especially if carried out over long distances or by inefficient means of transport.

This is just one example, but it gives a good idea of the need to use recycled, recyclable and eco-friendly materials even in a hot sector like construction.

The production of low-carbon cement and the use of recycled or mixed cement can help reduce the environmental impact of concrete. This is of considerable benefit to the environment and not only.

Cement mixes are also useful in this regard, as they combine cement with materials such as fly ash, blast furnace slag or other industrial slag and offer similar or superior performance to traditional cement.

Alongside this, one must also remember the necessary implementation of building design and management strategies, which must be geared towards sustainability and promote better energy efficiency.

This also creates a more sustainable and green environment. Through the adoption of recycled materials, the use of innovative low-emission technologies and the use of renewable energy sources, tangible solutions are used to reduce the overall environmental impact of the construction industry.