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Finnish project to break ground on carbon-neutral construction

Ways to cut emissions from building use may be well known, but that is not the case for emissions from construction. VTT and Tampere University intend to change this.


Tampere University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland are bringing together players from the construction industry to quantify and control the carbon dioxide emissions of buildings as part of a project called Build4Clima.

The purpose of the project is to supplement the existing, relatively advanced understanding of how to reduce emissions arising from the use of buildings with knowledge about emissions linked to construction and construction materials.

“We want to bring the sector’s players together and establish exactly what the emissions of construction sites and construction materials consist of and how we can reduce them,” told Pekka Tuominen, senior scientist at VTT.

“It’s already clear that solutions are available, but we have to be able to choose the ones that have the best overall effect. Our goal is a carbon-neutral and healthy building. In the best-case scenario, over the course of its lifetime, a building may even be able to trap more carbon than it emits,” he added.

VTT and Tampere University aim over the coming year to define a vision and roadmap for establishing a carbon-neutral construction ecosystem consisting not only of construction companies but also of architectural firms, construction planning companies, and construction material and component manufacturers.

The work will start at the very beginning: defining the terms, according to Tuominen.

“It’s still somewhat unclear what is meant by the term ‘carbon-neutral building’ in different contexts and how a building’s carbon emissions can be reliably measured and presented in a simple manner,” he explained. “It’s also important to find out what kinds of tools, such as databases and software, designers and builders can utilise to achieve low emissions.”

Build4Clima is funded by Business Finland.

Published on 08.06.2020