Advanced

Embodied Carbon in Buildings - investigating drivers and barriers for the Swedish construction industry to address Embodied Carbon, and necessary policy support as deemed by the industry

Wretlind, Per LU (2015) In IIIEE Master thesis IMEN41 20151
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is essential for us humans to curb climate change. Around a fifth of the anthropogenic GHG emissions stem from the construction sector. Much come from energy used for space and water heating within buildings, but an increasing proportion comes from the manufacturing of the building materials and is virtually embodied within buildings. This is called Embodied Carbon (EC). This thesis explores how industry addresses EC through posing three questions. These are 1) what actors within the industry address EC and how, 2) what are the drivers and barriers to address EC and 3) what policy support industrial actors perceive necessary for addressing EC to become business-as-usual. Through a literature... (More)
Mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is essential for us humans to curb climate change. Around a fifth of the anthropogenic GHG emissions stem from the construction sector. Much come from energy used for space and water heating within buildings, but an increasing proportion comes from the manufacturing of the building materials and is virtually embodied within buildings. This is called Embodied Carbon (EC). This thesis explores how industry addresses EC through posing three questions. These are 1) what actors within the industry address EC and how, 2) what are the drivers and barriers to address EC and 3) what policy support industrial actors perceive necessary for addressing EC to become business-as-usual. Through a literature review and semi-structured interviews, and with the aid of the theoretical framework of Technological Innovation Systems (TIS), it is found that a few actors throughout the industry are working with EC. This is done by conducting life-cycle assessments of buildings to form an image of where emissions originate. Some actors have started to use this tool to explore alternative designs and materials for the building. The drivers of this development are the green building certification systems as their inclusion of considerations of EC push actors to develop capabilities to address it. Identified barriers are lack of knowledge of ways to address EC and as well as lacking knowledge of the EC within the specific building materials. The complexity of the issue is seen as a barrier as it renders it difficult to find a coherent way of calculating EC. That residential buildings does not use certification to the same degree, thus missing out of the driving force they have is also seen as a barrier. It is found that the actors see that policy support is necessary. National regulative instruments are currently not perceived as a way forward, while informative instruments such as certification systems are preferred. As these are industry-owned, the thesis finds that Green Public Procurement is a good tool to increase the demand for certified buildings, thus pushing the market. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Wretlind, Per LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN41 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Embodied Carbon, Construction Sector, Buildings, Climate Change Mitigation, Policy Support, Transitions
publication/series
IIIEE Master thesis
report number
2015:27
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
8164298
date added to LUP
2015-11-04 11:21:05
date last changed
2015-11-04 11:21:05
@misc{8164298,
  abstract     = {Mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is essential for us humans to curb climate change. Around a fifth of the anthropogenic GHG emissions stem from the construction sector. Much come from energy used for space and water heating within buildings, but an increasing proportion comes from the manufacturing of the building materials and is virtually embodied within buildings. This is called Embodied Carbon (EC). This thesis explores how industry addresses EC through posing three questions. These are 1) what actors within the industry address EC and how, 2) what are the drivers and barriers to address EC and 3) what policy support industrial actors perceive necessary for addressing EC to become business-as-usual. Through a literature review and semi-structured interviews, and with the aid of the theoretical framework of Technological Innovation Systems (TIS), it is found that a few actors throughout the industry are working with EC. This is done by conducting life-cycle assessments of buildings to form an image of where emissions originate. Some actors have started to use this tool to explore alternative designs and materials for the building. The drivers of this development are the green building certification systems as their inclusion of considerations of EC push actors to develop capabilities to address it. Identified barriers are lack of knowledge of ways to address EC and as well as lacking knowledge of the EC within the specific building materials. The complexity of the issue is seen as a barrier as it renders it difficult to find a coherent way of calculating EC. That residential buildings does not use certification to the same degree, thus missing out of the driving force they have is also seen as a barrier. It is found that the actors see that policy support is necessary. National regulative instruments are currently not perceived as a way forward, while informative instruments such as certification systems are preferred. As these are industry-owned, the thesis finds that Green Public Procurement is a good tool to increase the demand for certified buildings, thus pushing the market.},
  author       = {Wretlind, Per},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {Embodied Carbon,Construction Sector,Buildings,Climate Change Mitigation,Policy Support,Transitions},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Master thesis},
  title        = {Embodied Carbon in Buildings - investigating drivers and barriers for the Swedish construction industry to address Embodied Carbon, and necessary policy support as deemed by the industry},
  year         = {2015},
}