Last edited 05 May 2020

Carbon negative building

The Home Quality Mark One, Technical Manual SD239, England, Scotland & Wales, published by BRE in 2018 defines carbon negative as:

A building or site that generates, surplus to its own energy demand, an excess of renewable or carbon neutral energy and exports that surplus via the national grid to meet other, off-site energy demand, i.e. the building is a net exporter of zero carbon energy.

Surplus in this respect means the building or site generates more energy via renewable or carbon neutral sources than it needs to meet its own regulated and unregulated energy needs.

This definition of carbon negative focuses only on energy and carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the operational stage of the building life cycle, as this is the stated aim of this assessment issue. It does not take into account the embodied carbon, in terms of carbon fixing, or emissions resulting from the manufacture or disposal of building materials and components.

These impacts and benefits are dealt with by the Home Quality Mark in Section 6.2 Environmental Impact of Materials.

BREEAM UK New Construction, Non-domestic Buildings (United Kingdom), Technical Manual, SD5078: BREEAM UK New Construction 2018 3.0, published by BRE Global Limited, suggests that a carbon negative building is:

…one that generates a surplus to its own energy demand (i.e. an excess of renewable or carbon neutral energy) and exports that surplus via the national grid to meet other, off-site energy demands. In other words it is a net exporter of zero carbon energy. Surplus in this respect means the building or site generates more energy via renewable or carbon neutral sources than it needs to meet its own regulated and unregulated energy needs. Any surplus must be exported through the national grid. This definition of carbon negative focuses only on energy and carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the operational stage of the building life cycle (as this is the stated aim of this assessment issue). It does not take into account the embodied carbon, in terms of carbon fixing or emissions resulting from the manufacture or disposal of building materials and components.

--BRE Group

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