chapter  5
30 Pages

Carbon management in the new build

The built environment sector remains a significant contributor of GHGs, and its contributions continue to grow in many countries. Ürge-Vorsatz et al. (2007) estimate 33 per cent of all global carbon emissions to be originating from existing buildings. In the UK, the residential sector alone contributed over 17 per cent of the total CO2 emissions (see Figure 5.1). Part of the ‘Public’ and ‘Business’ sectors in Figure 5.1 consists of emissions from buildings. If these too are included, the total built environment consumption of energy is approximately 34 per cent of UK final energy (Ward, 2008). Based on these, UK energy consumption for space and water heating, cooking, lighting and appliances is responsible for 27 per cent of total carbon dioxide emissions (DECC, 2009; Ward, 2008). However, if we disaggregate the emissions by activities that are relevant to the built environment, nearly 45 per cent of all carbon emissions come from heating and moving air and water, and the use of appliances, in existing buildings (with a split between domestic and nondomestic buildings of 27 per cent and 18 per cent respectively; Kelly, 2009). The remaining 55 per cent is split between transport (33 per cent) and industrial processes (22 per cent).