To meet the net zero goal of 2050 the responsibility for all of us to reduce our impact on the environment has never been greater. The UK built environment accounts for almost 40% of the UK's total carbon footprint. While new buildings are more energy efficient the upfront carbon cost associated with their construction is high. Annual embodied emissions alone currently exceed the 2050 target for total built environment emissions.
By focusing on the decarbonisation of our existing buildings, 80% of which are estimated to still be in operation in 2050, we have the opportunity to make significant operational carbon savings as well as conserving the original embodied carbon associated with the building's construction.
It’s clear that decarbonising our existing built environment can go a long way to help us achieve the 2050 target but when doing so it’s important to consider not only carbon reductions but the regeneration of the space, balancing the needs of the environment with the needs of the people occupying it.
By focusing on regenerating the space, not just the assets, an upgraded lighting and controls installation will not only support overall carbon reductions but will deliver an improved lit environment, added functionality and compliance to current guidelines and standards.
How can we ensure our regenerated buildings are ready for a circular future? When regenerating our spaces and assets, it’s important to think long term. Buildings should operate with the lowest operational and embodied carbon impact and be circular and suitable for future regeneration. Following Circular Economy principles, whether regenerating or replacing existing assets, is key to delivering a circular building for the future.