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Decarbonising the built environment

IET factfile: Decarbonising the built environment

Removing carbon from our current and future building stock is an essential part of the ongoing drive to achieve the goal of a net-zero carbon UK economy by 2050.

For decision-makers facing this challenge, ‘Decarbonising the Built Environment’ offers an overview of strategies to remove carbon from the UK’s built environment and identifies opportunities for innovative engineering solutions. 

The report points to some facts that require deep thinking. Carbon is embodied in the fabric of our buildings; the materials and energy used to construct, maintain, and demolish them. More carbon comes from the energy used to operate them every day. We need ways to reduce both to net-zero.

The goal of a zero-carbon built environment needs market demand, and there are both barriers and positive drivers. A barrier is a lack of customer demand for carbon-zero infrastructure caused by a fear of the necessary change and the cost it might incur. On the positive side there is a growing awareness in the UK public of the danger posed by a changing climate, and the evidence suggests a net-zero carbon buildings strategy will create jobs and add to GDP.

For more detail, please download the full Decarbonising the Built Environment document [PDF, 1320KB].