Embodied carbon is becoming the primary source of carbon impact from buildings

The World’s Building stock will double by 2060 and this will not happen in the Global North!

According to Architecture2030, buildings are responsible for 42% of global CO2 emissions each year. Alarmingly, the need for construction will increase due to urbanization and population growth in the coming decades, particularly in the global south.

Up to 2060, the world is expected to add the equivalent of an entire
New York City to the world, every month, for 40 years.

Of the 42% of global CO2 emissions from buildings, although the share from building operations is still larger, an increasing amount comes from embodied carbon of building materials and construction processes. It is anticipated that the majority of carbon emissions from new buildings and infrastructure worldwide will be due to embodied carbon. Therefore, immediate action is needed to address these emissions and change our current emissions trajectory.

Three-quarters of the infrastructure that will exist in 2050 has yet to be built
Antonio Guterres - UN Secretary General

Given this huge impact, the construction sector is in urgent need of solutions that can be implemented quickly, broadly and at scale. The good news is that we can considerably reduce carbon emissions in the construction sector if research efforts are conducted with an outlook that addresses industry-wide challenges, and with a clear mission to support sustainable construction worldwide.

To achieve this, EPFL, in line with its strategy on sustainability, has created the Centre for Worldwide Sustainable Construction (CWSC).

Projected Contributions from Embodied and Operational Carbon within the Building Sector

GlobalABC: Sustainable Building Materials Hub
GlobalABC: Sustainable Building Materials Hub