How we build now, and how we’ll do it in the future, has an impact on what the world will look like for our children. Low carbon buildings are a part of the solution.
The world is warming up. According to the World Green Building Council, construction and operations accounted for 36% of global final energy use and nearly 40% of energy-related CO2 emissions already in 2017.
Something needs to be done. And fast.
One way to look at it is to make a carbon budget – how many tons of emissions we can have until the temperature rises by, for example, 1.5 degrees Celsius?
“The IPCC AR6 Report of 2021 reveals that an average country will run out of its carbon budget share in 9 years. In a highly polluting country, the budget will be used much earlier,” says Petri Suur-Askola, Business Director, Connections at Peikko.
The conclusion? Everyone needs to pull their weight and every little effort helps. Using less concrete means less CO2 emissions. A shift in attitudes and actions has already taken place.
“The developers are looking for low carbon buildings as that will allow for either tax benefits or more permitted building volume. As an additional bonus, it’s easier to find funding for low carbon projects these days,” adds Simo Hakkarainen, Business Director, DELTABEAM® at Peikko.
Enter a green beam
“With DELTABEAM® Green you can lower the carbon footprint by 50% when compared to a beam made of virgin materials,” Hakkarainen says.
Nevertheless, the greener alternative has all the benefits of the original.
“It allows for long spans and flexible open space while making the HVAC installations a breeze.”
Being compatible with all slab and column types, DELTABEAM® offers integrated fireproofing, additional room height and most importantly, lower heating and cooling costs.
“But to earn its green credentials, DELTABEAM® Green contains 90% recycled materials,” Hakkarainen points out.
Add a green slab hanger
“We thought long and hard on how to make the slim floor structure even greener. Then we realized that we could further lower the carbon footprint by using the cutoff steel plates from the DELTABEAM® production to make PETRA® Slab Hangers,” Petri SuurAskola explains.
The original PETRA® was conceived to easily support hollow-core slabs and to make openings and configurations into hollow-core slab floors.
“By minimizing the amount of virgin steel and reusing the surplus material flow, PETRA® Green has a 43% smaller carbon footprint compared to standard slab hangers,” Suur-Askola says.
What are your numbers?
“We use renewable energy to produce both DELTABEAM® Green and PETRA® Green,” Hakkarainen says.
The transport from the factory to the site is fueled with biodiesel or environmentally compensated fuel.
“To make comparing the amount of embodied carbon and the products’ environmental performance easier, both solutions have been EPD certified.”
Another value adding service is the Game Changer calculator which helps you to maximize the return on investment and minimize the impact on the environment. The Game Changer works on three dimensions – building time, space and CO2 emissions.
“Contact your local DELTABEAM® expert to get the numbers for your project,” Hakkarainen says.
What more can you do?
The industry has been busy developing new products and materials as well as refining its production processes. Up to 70% of the precast element’s total CO2 load is in cement.
“There have been interesting advances with low carbon hollow-core. The use of other cementitious materials – such as ground-granulated blast furnace slag from the steel industry and pulverized fuel ash from coal-fired power stations – seems promising,” Hakkarainen says.
The other possibility is wood.
“DELTABEAM® Green and PETRA® Green are fully compatible with wooden slabs,” Hakkarainen notes.