Building life cycle
We have to analyze last century to understand this concept. We have built cites from zero and therefore we needed quite a lot material kilograms. For example, to create one square meter building it must been emitted between 600 and 700 CO2 kilograms. That is the “bill” for our planet before of moving into our new house. We use to speak about energy saving, once we are living in a place, but we ignore this other part of the story.
Why we consume so much? last century we just built without thinking how we build or without thinking about the energy consequences. The concept life cycle wasn’t apparently known. In a building life cycle goes from production, construction, use, dismantling or demolition. That means: from raw material until the landfill. Another topic is how to reduce CO2 emissions. One way is to reduce the energy consume.
How can we get it? Improving the thermal enclosure or reducing energy demand based on increasing the thermal insulation of the facades. We just have to select the materials, but! we must find a balance that achieves the minimum emissions in all its phases so that we get a zero balance. The choice of materials according to their energy label tells us how much CO2 emissions it produces, how much energy is needed and what is the impact of this material each square meter per kilogram of CO2. Therefore, we can choose which we one we choose and in this way, which one consumes more or less.
Which materials have a minimum environmental impact? From recycling it is possible to reuse a material and re-enter it as raw material; or we can construct the buildings with natural materials (cork, wool, hemp, green facades, green gardens …) that allow to re-use it once finished its use. The use of natural materials allows the perspiration of the building also, and thus avoid dampness and condensation.