Govt. Building Strategy to look at embodied carbon, says government: Don’t demolish… mend!

The government is looking at how to tackle ‘embodied carbon’ as part of an upcoming building strategy, the BBC reports, as Lord Deben says ‘It’s not acceptable to pull buildings down.. We have to learn to make do and mend.’

image: for illustration purposes only – Open Government Licence v3.0

… Making steel, concrete and bricks for buildings creates a lot of carbon…

BBC writes:

Developers may have won praise in the past for demolishing draughty buildings for energy-efficient replacements.

But engineers now say existing buildings should be kept standing due to the amount of carbon emitted when original building materials were made – known as embodied carbon.

A government spokeswoman said they were working on this issue.

And Business minister Lord Callanan told a recent conference that it was “one of the areas we want to look at”.

But despite the peer saying the government was in “the final stages” of creating its new heat and building strategy, neither gave more detail about what measures may appear….

Making steel, concrete and bricks for buildings creates a lot of carbon, with concrete alone causing 8% of global emissions.

As a result, climate experts are urging ministers to make it hard for developers to demolish buildings without first exploring ways to refurbish and extend them.

The chairman of the government’s advisory climate change committee, Lord Deben, said the government had been slow to accept this reversal of established thinking and ministers had not had “the will and the clout to develop these policies”.

“We need to think differently,” he said. “It’s not acceptable to pull buildings down like this. We have to learn to make do and mend.”

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