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What are Carbon Sink Building Materials?

June 13, 2024

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A life cycle assessment of buildings conducted by RMI showed that 65 to 85% of embodied carbon in buildings—representing up to 9% of total global carbon emissions—comes from raw material extraction, transport, and manufacture. In a similar assessment, WSP Engineering showed concrete production generated almost half of all those emissions spread equally over the construction of walls, roofs, floors, and building frames.

In response to the need to lighten its carbon footprint, design and building industries must find a way to procure and use materials that are either carbon-neutral or actually remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they emit. In the latter case, rather than being carbon sources, these building materials are carbon sinks.

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