Reducing embodied carbon: a phrase that, historically, has been overlooked. In reality, it’s one of the real estate industry’s biggest challenges, a challenge that, if overcome, will actually help protect our planet.
As it stands, we release 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases into our earth’s atmosphere every single year. The outputs of the recent COP26 made the results of this pollution abundantly and harrowingly clear. We have to act now.
Worship Square will be net zero carbon throughout its whole lifecycle. This means we are tasked with reducing emissions both in construction and operation. During the building’s construction, we are actively going to reduce carbon in every possible setting, so much so that we’ll completely smash the GLA target by almost 20% for 2030, upon completion in Q1 2024.
What does this mean in real terms? Our plans should allow us to reduce emissions in the construction phase alone. Then, once we’ve done absolutely everything we can to reduce carbon in the build stage, the building itself will run in a green, sustainable, planet-saving way. More than that – it will encourage the companies who work there to help the planet too. We understand that this is a mammoth task, but we’re not fazed. Here’s how we’ll do it…
Demolishing a building takes power, machinery and fuel. In the demolition of the existing building, we have sourced vehicles, generators and equipment that are all run on renewable energy or biodiesel – a vegetable oil meaning its made from 100% renewable raw material.
100% of the demolition materials created by the construction phase will be diverted from landfill and recycled materials will then be put to use in the creation of the new building. We’ve also designed Worship Square in such a way that we can keep the previous building’s foundations – another decision we made to minimise the carbon output of the building.
We did previously state that sustainability was built into every brick. Whether it’s the building’s design or the materials used to build it, carbon efficiency is a primary consideration in every decision we make. It’s never an afterthought. These green choices add up, so much so that Worship Square will achieve half the embodied carbon of an average new build, at 500kg m2 below the UKGBC baseline today.
We support strategic sustainable & social initiatives in developing countries – this includes restoring degraded forest reserves in Ghana and wind power projects delivering zero emissions renewable electricity to the National Grid in Nicaragua. Oh and rather than offsetting upon practical completion, we have decided to do it today.