Last edited 10 Jul 2018

Emission reduction potential of green building materials

The construction sector accounts for more than two-thirds of total greenhouse gas emissions around the globe. Thus, there is a great potential for reducing greenhouse emissions by enhancing the energy efficiency of buildings. Reductions in greenhouse emissions can be accomplished by construction of new green buildings with low energy consumption and by retrofitting existing buildings.

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Green building materials promote the conservation of non-renewable resources and reduce environmental impact associated with fabrication, processing, installation, transportation, disposal, and recycling.

They are employed in the construction industry to address various environmental challenges including anomalous climate change, natural resource depletion, atmospheric pollution, contamination of fresh water resources, and loss of biodiversity.

Low operational and maintenance costs and the pressure of environmental regulations pertaining to emissions are the major factors that drive the green building materials market. In addition, governments in developed countries have introduced policies and incentives to encourage green construction, which supplements the growth of this market.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), and Green Building Evaluation Labeling (GBEL) are some of the rating systems for green buildings in the U.S., UK, and China, respectively.

Innovative technologies and increases in R&D activities to study effective design procedures and construction techniques will boost the green building materials market demand. Whilst cost concerns and market barriers may hinder market growth, the growth of construction industry provides a great potential for market expansion.

A wide variety of cost concerns and market barriers exist in the green building construction market including “split incentive” barrier, i.e., owners of the houses don’t make effective investments in their properties as the occupants reap benefits from these investments and not owners. A total of 40% of commercial buildings and 32% of households are rented or leased.

Major players that operate in green building materials market are Alumasc Group Plc (UK), Amvik Systems (Canada), BASF SE (Germany), Bauder Limited (UK), Binderholz GmbH (Germany), E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (U.S.), Forbo International SA (Switzerland), Interface Inc. (U.S.), Kingspan Group plc (Ireland), and Owens Corning (U.S.).

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