Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal
Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal

Paula Kirk Director, Global Leader, Climate and
Sustainability, Arup.
In a world where climate change dominates headlines and increasingly impacts peoples’ lives, the call for urgent action is louder than ever. The real estate sector across Europe is attuned to the need for rapid change. In Ireland alone, the built environment is responsible for 37% of the country’s carbon emissions, according to the Irish Green Building Council, so tackling this will be critical as we journey to net zero. Here Paula Kirk, Director, Global Leader, Climate and Sustainability, Arup, gives pointers as to how to go about this.

Data has a key role to play in accelerating the decarbonisation of our built environment. For engineers, understanding the impact of our designs from a carbon emissions perspective is now essential. Arup has been carrying out whole-life carbon assessments on all of our building projects since 2022. We call the carbon generated through the buildings we design our “carbon handprint”, and it is overall 350 times greater than Arup’s carbon footprint.

This insight drives better decision-making, as access to open and comparable whole-life carbon building data shows where we should focus our efforts, allowing us to identify and compare carbon emission reduction options across building subsystems and lifespans. This drives how we design and shape buildings and the built environment.

Energy efficiency standards and compliance requirements are evolving at pace. With an accelerated drive to reduce carbon emissions and reach net zero, a project may encounter substantial changes in the timespan between its inception, design, planning, construction and handover.

See PDF of full article at Data key to net zero ambition

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