Achieving the Paris Agreement objectives through green building materials

Nikhil Kaitwade, AVP at Future Market Insights. (Image source: AVP)

Nikhil Kaitwade, AVP at Future Market Insights, explains that with the construction industry responsible for a significant amount of COemissions, there has been a tangible shift from traditional building materials to green materials 

The core goal of the Paris Agreement is to improve the world's response towards climate change by maintaining the global temperature rise in this century below 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels, and also to pursue measures to restrict the temperature rise even lower to 1.5 degrees Celsius. 

One of the significant impacts of climate change is being caused by the building and construction industry globally. The carbon impact of traditional construction is enormous and, additionally, 650 million tonnes of building and demolition garbage was produced in the United States alone in 2019, more than twice as much as the nation's municipal solid waste. 

Furthermore, using conventional building methods results in new issues such as deforestation. To combat this issue, various nations have shifted from traditional building materials to green building materials for sustainable development to alter climatic changes. According to Future Market Insights, an ESOMAR-certified market intelligence firm, the global market for green building materials systems is anticipated to grow at a strong CAGR of 11.8%, reaching US$823bn by 2032. The strong demand for green construction materials is attributed to their low maintenance and operating costs as well as environmental caps and laws globally. 

Hempcrete – the secret material used for green building housings

Hempcrete, also known as hemplime, is a biocomposite material made of hemp hurds in a combination with sand, lime, or pozzolans that is used in construction as well as insulation. Natural construction materials like hempcrete have earned a devoted following amongst green builders and can be seen in residences from Cape Town, South Africa, Asheville, North Carolina, and Cambridgeshire, England. 

For the various nations to aid the Paris agreement, hempcrete is an ideal green building material for sustainable constructions globally. While ordinary concrete as well as the cement binder account for 9% of the yearly carbon footprint in the construction sector, hempcrete does the opposite: this can trap carbon dioxide generation. After being combined, hemp with lime effectively absorbs carbon, compensating for emissions from other building materials. In addition, cultivating hemp helps to purify the air by removing carbon dioxide. At the same time, its insulating, as well as absorbent qualities, make it excellent for use in the walls – it surpasses several commonly used materials. 

With the increasing climate change all across the globe, various nations globally, are taking up some serious steps towards containing the pollution and severe climate changes throughout the nation. Following the Paris agreement, these nations are aimed at green and sustainable buildings to lower the carbon footprint of the construction industry. Green materials have been proven to have almost negligible climatic impacts and lesser GHG emissions too. This is why various new sustainable building projects are taking place throughout the world. 

A full array of green options 

Apart from the above-mentioned materials, there are some more significant green building materials being used in the construction sector. Cork grows rapidly and emits almost little carbon, much like bamboo. Even after being sustained under pressure, the cork remains durable, and flexible, and returns to its former shape. It is frequently used as a component in floor tiles due to its durability and toughness. Additionally, it is ideal for insulating sheets as well as subflooring due to its superior shock absorption capabilities. 

Another is sheep's wool, which is an excellent substitute for insulation made of toxic chemicals. It requires less energy to manufacture as well as insulate the buildings just as well as traditional insulation. Sheep's wool helps soundproof the building and improve energy efficiency. It is more common, easier to collect, regenerates rapidly, and does not affect the environment when compared to certain other insulation materials like hay and cotton. 

As technology advances, the properties of these green building materials will get enhanced too, which in turn would help to lower the emissions and cause lesser harm to the climate henceforth. With such expectations, the world can be positive toward achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2050.