On all the feelings conjured in a climate crisis.
Ellen could I offer you a topic? Its about how with the building industry we are missing a (climate) trick. The Building Research Association of NZ has found that in a building in Auckland insulated to about the equivalent of current insulation standards, only 3% of its Lifecycle Carbon Dioxide emissions were due to heating. Yet our only real focus in buildings is reducing heating, the carbon savings from which only accrue gradually over time and diminish towards zero as our grid becomes greener. However EMBODIED carbon emissions embodied in the materials of the building are (almost) all up in the atmosphere before the building is even occupied. So what our immediate focus should be is on minimising embodied carbon in any building work and there is so much possibility here. We can replace steel and concrete structure in our commercial buildings with engineered timber meaning not only do we not have those massive emissions from concrete and steel but we actually have negative emissions because the timber is storing sequestered CO2. With our houses the default is timber framing walls and roof structure which is good - but why concrete floors (concrete is responsible for some 8% of global CO2 emissions)? Why not timber floors. And why concrete foundations when we can do driven timber pile foundations? Why solid aluminium windows when we can use much higher thermal performance timber windows, perhaps with an aluminium skin for zero maintenance but radically less aluminium than solid ones. BRANZ and MBIE are perhaps hobbled by attempting to be materials agnostic when actually we need to pivot away from these high carbon products to carbon negative materials. Sure concrete and steel will gradually get a little greener in the future, but still be massive carbon loads on the environment and never be carbon negative like timber already is.
Another great edition of Future Proof!