Embodied carbon of concrete in buildings, Part 2: are the messages accurate?

Alice Moncaster, Tove Malmqvist, Tim Forman, Francesco Pomponi, Jane Anderson
2022 Buildings and Cities  
This paper is the second output of a project that examines the embodied greenhouse gas emissions ('embodied carbon') from the use of concrete in buildings. In the current absence of either regulation or widespread industry practice in quantified carbon assessment, it seems likely that messaging will play a powerful role in influencing designers' perceptions and decisions. Using the UK as a case study, this paper considers the current messages about the carbon implications of concrete in
more » ... s from professional institutions and the cement and concrete trade body. Three mechanisms through which it is claimed carbon emissions are significantly reduced are identified: thermal mass, durability, and carbonation. By assessing each of these in turn against the available scientific literature, it is shown that they are likely to have a far more limited effect on the total impacts than suggested. More accuracy is needed from trade organisations if real carbon reductions are to be achieved.
doi:10.5334/bc.199 fatcat:mjwoe2s6tjevjlmgnkyvopktz4