Carbon Emissions Wandering Around Municipal Buildings

Photo by Danist Soh on Unsplash

Months ago, I involved in a challenging competition entangled with the climate issue. It is about a green building design which far away from my previous subject, physics. The competition was conducted by Green Building Council Indonesia (GBCI) and suitable for architectural students. I strove to prune the knowledge disparity within my team. Personally, it is interesting. When we talk in a language of global carbon emission, we can’t neglect the buildings contribution. Almost 35% comes from them. In detail, carbon emissions are released not only when buildings are fully operational. The embodied carbon which covers building materials manufacturing (steel, cement, and glass) as well as construction and buildings demolition releases 10 percent of global carbon emission.

Many scholars believe that shifting in this particular sector is needed. Fortunately, there are tremendous progress in the planning and development of green building around the world. The main goal of this concept is to preserve our climate and the natural environment. As much as possible, such building also seek to improve the quality of our lives through the likes of using materials that are sustainable and non-toxic, and providing a healthy indoor environment. Modular approach presents the industry a possibility to manage construction in a more sustainable manner. The idea of construction involves producing standardized components of a structure in an off-site factory, then assembling them on-site. This approach leads to higher resource of efficiency during production and remarkable reduction of waste and site disturbance compared with traditional method. And of course, there will be a significant acceleration of project timelines.

Regulators Nudge

I do believe, proper policy and regulatory support is critical in encouraging the transition into a more resilient built environment in cities of the future and make innovation long-last. It will never be a zero-sum game. Because private sector, financiers, and governments have a strong business case to invest more in the green building project. In the term of efficiency, green buildings have saved up to 1.5 million megawatt hours in energy use, which has helped residents and businesses save over USD 120 million in energy bills. On the side of climate target, green development through green buildings potentially reduced more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. It is equivalent to not driving 216.000 passenger cars for one year. In addition, according to S&P Global Platts Analytics projection, global emissions from building need to fall by 56% over the next 30 years to help limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius.

Another promising step for massifying green building adoption is by Greenship certificate issued by the GBCI. It has saved 274 million kilowatt-hours of energy as well as 2 million cubic meters of water and effectively reduced carbon emissions by 244.187 tons annually. The demand for green buildings was expected to increase by nudging from regulator through ongoing policy. Such as Government Regulation (PP) No. 16/2021 on buildings which includes green building requirements for new construction projects and PP No. 21/2021 on green building appraisal. Both of them are aim to encourage the adoption of green building principles in infrastructure development.

In a short conclusion, we realize another promising exit strategy for halting the climate crisis, through green building concept. Besides, from home to offices, schools to hospitals, buildings play an integral role in our everyday life. Of course, it needs more space to be implemented, more consider market demand to boost adoption. We don’t have any choice instead lifting up its game in building resilience, so does the buildings and construction sector. Eradicating the wander of carbon emission around the building and creating more sustainable future for generations to come.




The Climate Reality Leader and Author of 20 Books

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Moh Wahyu Syafi'ul Mubarok

Moh Wahyu Syafi'ul Mubarok

The Climate Reality Leader and Author of 20 Books

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