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Nov 08 | Insights

Why is it important to decarbonise the built environment?

With COP26 well underway, the built environment has been put firmly into the spotlight. You might think there are many other big polluters who do more harm to the environment but that is not the case. 

The built environment is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to climate change, it emits a lot of carbon, nearly 40 per cent of carbon emissions globally. 

The focus must be on decarbonising our built environment through carbon-negative construction as well as making our current buildings more energy-efficient, something which Twinview has been specifically developed to help tackle. 

Our issue with carbon 

Although strides have been made in producing more energy-efficient buildings and using less energy in their operations, we are still nowhere near where we need to be. 

Building emissions can be classified into two main groups: 

  • Operating carbon emissions – those that come from heating, electrification and cooling of buildings. 
  • Embodied carbon emissions – the emissions from mining, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transportation and installation of building materials. 

Embodied emissions will be a key driver of climate change if action is not taken quickly. The next 40 years will see another 2.5 trillion square feet of new building space built, that is the equivalent of a brand-new New York City every 30 days. It is estimated that embodied carbon will be responsible for almost half of all total emissions between now and 2050 (the target to reach Net Zero). 

Operating emissions can be reduced over a building’s lifetime through efficiency measures whereas embodied carbon emissions are locked in once a building is constructed. 

New buildings only make up part of the problem because by 2050 it is expected that two-thirds of current buildings will still be here. This means that any inefficient buildings and technology that exist today will still be polluting the environment unless they are upgraded or rebuilt. 

The current rate of renovation in existing buildings is less than 1% and a rate of 3% is required to ensure we meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

How can Twinview help? 

Property technology such as digital twins are expected to play a key role in the decarbonisation of the built environment. 

Twinview helps building owners to develop a deeper understanding of how their building is performing by unlocking access to the vast amount of data it generates which is not usually accessible. 

Using sophisticated artificial intelligence, Twinview identifies trends and patterns relating to energy usage, in particular carbon, which can empower decision-makers to implement methods that will move a building closer to Net Zero whilst reducing operational costs. 

Twinview is a browser-based digital twin platform for the property sector connecting building systems' data to a 3D model viewed on a single dashboard. Twinview becomes your first step to achieving Net Zero by providing continuous live data and optimising building performance whilst reducing costs and improving the user experience. Book a demo today.

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