Photo: 4B Arkitekter. BREEAM certified Hollenderkvartalet Oslo Boligene i Hollenderkvartalet i Oslo er BREEAM-NOR sertifisert til Very Good. Photograper: Tove Lauluten
The world of architecture demands innovation in both form, function – and content. In the building industry, the past two decades have seen increasing use of voluntary environmental certification tools such as ISO and EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme). Whilst these are most widespread within industrial circles, a large metastudy reveals their potential to reshape the creation of architecture with sustainability at the forefront.
Carbon impacts during the operational life of buildings can be reduced by energy efficient design and construction and use of renewable energy «Zero energy» buildings are already well known. Given very low energy buildings, the embodied impacts are by contrast locked into the construction materials and are becoming the largest part of the problem. These too must be drastically reduced in order to meet the goal of zero emissions by 2040. The most recent state of the art buildings also takes this into account and include a thorough calculation of embodied materials impacts.
Just three materials – concrete (11%), steel (10%) and aluminium (2%) comprise 23% of total global climate emissions. Hundreds of studies have shown that in «heavy» building constructions, cement and steel alone often comprise over 70% pf the total embodied energy/carbon impacts of those buildings.
There is a huge and as yet largely untapped potential for reducing the embodied carbon, through policy, design, and choice and specification of materials Architecutre 2030 In addition to emissions during production of building materials, other impacts such as dwindling available natural resources, increasing volumes of waste, and widespread pollution add to the huge environmental footprint of materials throughout their life cycle.
A comprehensive study: Environmental performance improvement through ISO and EMAS
Funnene i metastudien: A large research metastudy ISO 14001, EMAS and environmental performance: A meta-analysis. ( Artizar Erauskin-Tolosa et al. 2019 *) shows the positive effect on companies’ environmental performance of using ISO and EMAS Several additional effects are also revealed, such as a significant positive effect on innovation and results for manufacturers who have well established certification procedures. This metastudy compiled analyses from 53 separate research studies, from a broad variety of projects.
It shows that use of ISO and EMAS certifications has a marked positive effect on their sustainability profile, enabling the creation of designs that resonate with both aesthetic vision and environmental responsibility Companies that integrate environmental certification into their procedures reap various benefits in addition to a notable sustainability improvement in their products, such as better collaboration between departments and more efficient solutions engendered by the focus on environmental innovation. These findings can inspire architects and engineers to select producers who do apply certification systems. Such systems assist in making sustainable materials choices both for structural elements, envelopes, claddings and interiors.
These findings can inspire architects and engineers to select producers who do apply certification systems. Such systems assist in making sustainable materials choices both for structural elements, envelopes, claddings and interiors.
The result can be to raise the architectural quality whilst minimising the environmental impacts.
Architectural expertise is evolving. Combining form with eco-sensitivity is increasingly important. Whilst ambitions as to form and function can be achieved using many kinds of construction and materials, these must also achieve high quality environmental content – as regards the scientifically based actual impacts of the building materials By prioritising materials producers who are committed to ISO and EMAS, designers can lead the way for a paradigm shift.The result can be to raise the architectural quality whilst minimising the environmental impacts.
ISO 14001, EMAS and environmental performance: A meta-analysis. Artizar Erauskin-Tolosa et al., 2019. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337860974_ISO_14001_EMAS_and_environmental_performance_A_meta-analysis Artizar Erauskin-Tolosa et al., 2019. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337860974_ISO_14001_EMAS_and_environmental_performance_A_meta-analysis
Cicular Ecodesign, Materials and the Value Chain https://www.greenbuilt.no/en/2022/11/04/circular-ecodesign-materials-and-the-value-chain-chris-butters/ Chris Butters. https://www.greenbuilt.no/2022/07/05/et-helhetlig-verktoy-for-baerekraftig-utvikling-chris-butters/