#BUILDINGLIFE. Whole Life Carbon Roadmap for a decarbonised built environment in Spain

Proposal

The building sector is facing a profoundly transformative challenge: to combine the social commitment to generate socially necessary habitability conditions with the duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings in all phases of the life cycle, in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Given the urgency of this challenge, the #BuildingLife project seeks to accelerate the shift towards a sustainability paradigm. To this end, it aims to generate a major debate among key players in the sector, providing a comprehensive vision of the building life cycle with the aim of reducing the impacts of building and achieving its decarbonisation.

Objectives

The central goal of the roadmap, in line with the Vision 2050 and the WorldGBC proposals, is the progressive transformation of the sector to achieve full decarbonisation of the building stock by 2050.

Conclusions

We must tackle the whole life-cycle carbon emissions

According to the scenarios in this roadmap, embodied carbon accounts for more than 50% of the sector’s cumulative emissions over the next 30 years. Limiting it is as urgent as reducing operational carbon.

We must take urgent action

We are in the midst of a climate emergency, to which the building sector is a major contributor. It is our responsibility to maximise the scope of the measures already available, particularly by building on the momentum of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Funds.

We must leverage the carbon investment that has already been made in the existing building stock

We have a building stock of more than 40 million buildings. It accounts for a huge investment in carbon which we must leverage through renovation. Renovation must be the sector’s main activity so that it meets at least the target of 9 million dwellings renovated by 2050.

Decarbonisation is, above all, an opportunity

The transition towards a decarbonised sector implies multiple systemic changes to the way we work and organise ourselves. Changes that help to improve the sector and meet social and environmental needs, thereby generating wealth. New markets and business models around decarbonising the building sector will emerge from this transition.

All stakeholders need to get on board

The whole life carbon roadmap for a decarbonised built environment is an instrument for steering the efforts of all the stakeholders in the value chain. Working together is essential if we want to make more rapid progress towards hitting our goals. Each organisation has its own responsibility and as a sector we have a responsibility, too. We must now take it on and act decisively.

Authors

Green Building Council España, Cíclica [space·community·ecology]

Client

Ikea Foundation Laudes Foundation

Project year

2021

Date

9 de June de 2022

Category

Research and innovation