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How to reach a net-zero target?

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

What are the parameters a new construction, rebuilding, retrofitting firm needs to observe to obtain officially certified energy efficiency, waste reduction of product footprint, travel etc to reach a net-zero target?

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Parameters to reach a net-zero target

To obtain official certification for energy efficiency, waste reduction, and reaching a net-zero target, a rebuilding or retrofitting firm must observe a range of parameters and adhere to relevant standards and guidelines. Some key parameters include:

  1. Energy efficiency: a. Building envelope improvements: Insulation, air sealing, and high-performance windows to minimize heat transfer. b. HVAC systems: Installing energy-efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. c. Lighting systems: Using energy-efficient lighting systems like LED, and incorporating natural daylighting strategies. d. Building automation: Implementing energy management systems and smart controls. e. Renewable energy integration: Solar panels, wind turbines, or other onsite renewable energy sources. f. Energy-efficient appliances and equipment: Choosing ENERGY STAR-rated products.

  2. Waste reduction: a. Construction waste management: Implementing waste reduction plans, recycling, and reusing materials during construction. b. Material selection: Using environmentally-friendly materials and products with low embodied carbon. c. Water efficiency: Installing water-saving fixtures and appliances, rainwater harvesting, and greywater recycling systems. d. Sustainable landscaping: Using native plants and xeriscaping to minimize water use and maintenance.

  3. Product footprint: a. Life cycle assessment (LCA): Conducting LCA to measure and minimize the environmental impact of products or materials used in the project. b. Carbon accounting: Tracking and reporting greenhouse gas emissions associated with the project, including embodied and operational emissions. c. Supply chain sustainability: Ensuring suppliers and subcontractors adhere to sustainable practices and share the net-zero goal.

  4. Sustainable transportation: a. Transportation demand management (TDM) strategies: Encouraging alternative commuting options like carpooling, public transit, and teleworking. b. Electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure: Installing EV charging stations and promoting EV use. c. Bike-friendly infrastructure: Providing bike storage, changing rooms, and showers to encourage cycling.

  5. Monitoring and reporting: a. Energy and water consumption: Regularly monitoring and reporting energy and water use to track progress towards net-zero goals. b. Greenhouse gas emissions: Measuring and reporting emissions associated with building operations and transportation. c. Waste generation: Tracking and reporting waste generated and diverted from the landfill.

  6. Certification: Pursue established certifications such as LEED, BREEAM, or WELL, which have specific requirements for energy efficiency, waste reduction, and overall sustainability.

By adhering to these parameters and working closely with local and national authorities, a rebuilding or retrofitting firm can successfully obtain official certification for energy efficiency, waste reduction, and net-zero targets.

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