How Much Do You Know About Your Building’s Carbon Footprint?
Lately, we’ve been more aware of our actions and what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. But are we taking into consideration the buildings we construct and work in and visit every day?
According to the US Green Building Council, buildings account for 39% of the carbon dioxide emissions in the United States each year. Commercial and residential buildings account for more carbon dioxide emissions annually than any other sector and more than any other country except for China.
It’s important that we’re not just aware of our own carbon footprint but also the ones left by our buildings, especially due to the large impact on the environment.
Learn more about buildings and emissions in the United States and what you can do to reduce emissions.
Understanding Building-Related Emissions
To reduce the energy that your building uses, it’s important to first understand greenhouse gas emissions. They can be broken up into two types: direct emissions from the on-site combustion of fuels used for heating and cooking, and emissions from the end use of electricity to heat, cool, and power a building.
Emissions can be reduced by cutting down on the energy supply used in the building both in the design and construction phase and after production.
Factors Contributing to Building Emissions
You should look at some key areas when determining what actions to take to reduce energy consumption. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions details these categories as embodied energy, building design, building envelope, on-site or distributed generation, and energy end uses in building.
Embodied energy is the energy required to extract, manufacture, transport, install, and dispose of building materials. This category is more about substituting bio-based products to reduce the building’s emissions.
Building design refers to the building’s overall architecture and engineering. Being aware of emissions from the initial design can help to determine the amount of lighting, heating, and cooling that’s used.
Building envelope is “the interface between the interior of a building and the outdoor environment.” Energy shouldn’t seep from the building because this will require using more of it.
On-site or distributed generation refers to the energy produced at the point of use. This can include renewable sources, fossil fuel sources, and small energy storage systems.
Energy end uses in buildings include utilizing efficient technologies that can reduce emissions by moderating energy use, which will also lower your monthly utility bills.
Incorporating Low-Emission Products into Your Building
When constructing a building, it’s important to use products that support a healthy environment. Scranton Products are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which reduces the environmental impact and offers initial and long-term improvements to the indoor air quality of your facility.
If you’re interested in using Scranton Products’ bathroom dividers, lockers, and other materials for your facility, click here to learn where to buy them.