This is a series where I take my lectures presented as adjunct professor teaching sustainable design at Ryerson University School of Interior Design in Toronto, and distill them down to a sort of Pecha Kucha slide show of 20 slides that take about 20 seconds each to read. This was also presented recently at the Interior Design Show in Toronto.
A high fiber diet is good for buildings, too.
来自的新报告World Health Organization findsthat "eating more fibre, found in wholegrain cereals, pasta and bread as well as nuts and pulses, will cut people’s chances of heart disease and early death." But it isn't just people; new research is also finding that high fibre buildings are good for our planet's health, because they significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that is a byproduct of our current construction methods and materials.
IPCC最近报告说we have to cut our carbon output in half within a dozen years如果我们希望在1.5°C下保持温暖的可能性。最近的一项研究得出结论，这不够好;利兹大学的克里斯托弗史密斯说，真的，我们必须立即停止发出二氧化碳。A professor reviewing the study tells the Guardian:
“Whether it’s drilling a new gas well, keeping an old coal power station open, or even buying a diesel car, the choices we make today will largely determine the climate pathways of tomorrow. The message of this new study is loud and clear: act now or see the last chance for a safer climate future ebb away.”
It also means that we have to stop building with anything but natural materials pretty much immediately.
Where is the carbon coming from?
As this chart shows, about a quarter of our CO2 emissions come from transportation, mostly cars and trucks on roads. About a quarter comes from heating, lighting and cooling buildings. And about a quarter comes from industry, from making stuff like steel, aluminum, concrete and plastics, most of which goes into building cars and buildings.
Embodied energy matters more than ever.
Embodied carbon in structural materials
In fact, the embodied carbon and energy can vary all over the place, depending on what material you build with. Wood is very low; virgin aluminum is ridiculously high, which is why it is nicknamed "solid electricity."
Embodied Carbon in Insulation
In fact, one study (which I am waiting for permission to reproduce here) has shown that, in a lifetime analysis,a highly efficient building insulated with plastic foam creates more Carbon Dioxide than a building that just meets the building code.The embodied carbon is far higher than the operating carbon right out to 2050.
Building Green can make it worse.
As an aside, because this discussion is about buildings, electric cars have a significant embodied energy. As in buildings, nobody thought much about it because compared to gasoline cars the total energy consumed is significantly less, particularly with a clean power grid. But an electric car has a higher embodied carbon than a gasoline car, and still has a big footprint because of it.
This is the main reason we are so big on bikes.
Embodied carbon in Aluminum
Embodied carbon in steel
It is in the chemistry: carbon dioxide is a byproduct of making steel.
Then of course, there is cement, which is made by heating limestone to 1450 °C, which frees carbon dioxide from the calcium carbonate to make calcium oxide, which is mixed with gypsum to make portland cement. There is the energy to heat it and the CO2 released.
It is in the chemistry: carbon dioxide is a byproduct of making cement.
Then there is wood. It is the only building material where the carbon is not emitted during its manufacture, but is absorbed. It takes carbon out of the air and hydrogen out of the water to make a hydrocarbon building material.As the Cryptonaturalist described it:
In fact, by whatever criterion you choose, wood construction has a lower footprint than steel or concrete. Every time you build out of wood, you are storing carbon; every time you build out of steel or concrete, you are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Every time you demolish a building and replace it with a new building, unless that new building is carbon negative, you are adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
这就是为什么demolition of perfectly good buildings like 270 Park Avenuein New York should be stopped; replacing its 2,400,352 square feet would generate about 192 million kilograms of carbon dioxide just replacing the steel and concrete of the existing floor area. It is a carbon crime.
High fiber insulations
This is why we have to look at alternative insulation materials with low embodied carbon, like straw, cork and cellulose and have to forget about foamed fossil fuels. As Bruce King notes in his bookThe New Carbon Architecture, it is the only way that buildings can help, rather than hurt.
We can structure any architectural style with wood, we can insulate with straw and mushrooms... All of these emerging technologies and more arrive in tandem with the growing understanding that the so-called embodied carbon of building materials matters a great deal more than anyone thought in the fight to halt and reverse climate change. The built environment can switch from being a problem to a solution.
Learn from Norway
This is why we have to build like Snøhetta did withPowerhouse Kjørbo与他们的另一个，较新的强者建筑：首先，你翻新而不是建立新的，就像他们用这个那样做的那样。它与新建筑更难，但他们已经设法设计了房屋，学校和办公楼，不仅可以产生更多的能量，而不是他们运作的能量，但“产生比用于生产建筑材料的生产更多的能量，它建设，运营和处置。“被动馆为WIMPS;the Powerhouse standard疯狂是困难的。这些挪威人用dark. See also:
This is why every architect should be studying theEast Anglia大学的企业中心使用新的木技术的内部, along with a combination of traditional technologies like thatch and reeds. It is built to Passive House energy efficiencies out of natural materials.
Gareth Selby, an associate at Architype and passive house designer on the project, says: "Life cycle carbon was one way to sum up the operational carbon and the embodied carbon. Everything was assessed with that attitude rather than just looking at how good is it for passive house. It was bringing the two together."
An edible palette of materials
几年前，我写道我们应该开始考虑建筑物，就像我们对食物做的那样 - 使用天然健康的材料。我甚至没有考虑体现的碳。
"I think we have to learn from what has happened in the food movement. That's the way people are going; they want natural, they want local, they want healthy and they reject manufactured chemical products. Twenty years ago every food manufacturer talked about the benefits of technology: Transfats make food cheaper and better, high fructose corn syrup has all kinds of advantages. Now even the biggest companies run from these, the vinyls of the food industry.
We are never going to get rid of all these chemicals and plastics from green buildings, any more than we are going to get rid of all additives from food. Some have very useful functions and some, like vitamins in our diet or plastic sheathing on electric wiring, are even good for us. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to minimize their use and, where there are healthy alternatives, choose them instead. I suspect that pretty soon that is what your clients will be demanding."
Now, more than ever, we have to think that way. We just have to stop using materials that are made with or from fossil fuels and that add carbon to the atmosphere. We have to subtract it. We have to do a life-cycle analysis to ensure that our choices help the planet, not hurt it.
We can still build big beautiful buildings, offices and apartments. We just don't need to build them forty stories high, but we do need to build them to be carbon positive. And we have to start right now.