Orient Magazine Issue 84 - October 2021 - Page 42


Recent Webinars

Discover more webinars at britcham . org . sg / webinars
11 Aug 2021 : Investing with Purpose
Series Partner :
In this session , our Women in Business and Financial and Fintech Committees as they dive deep into Investments in line with the UN ' s SDGs .
19 Aug 2021 : Board Crisis Preparedness
In this session , we address how your Board can continue to strengthen its effectiveness in this area and be better prepared for future crises .
24 Aug 2021 : Fireside Chat with The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP
In this session , we welcome The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP as she sits down for a fireside chat to discuss brexit , cyber strategy , resilience , defence and trade .
9 Sept 2021 : Stress Busting Tips to Boost Mental Resilience In this session , our Healthcare & Life Sciences Committee bring you a relevant webinar for all on how to best improve your mental strength and stress levels .
43 Getting to True Zero Carbon in the Built Environment Pei Ya Boon Sustainability Manager, Arcadis To meet the Paris Agreement objectives, the built environment sector needs to reach net-zero emissions across all activities in the building and construction system. Systemic change needs to happen to reduce both operational and embodied carbon. This includes the wider adoption of circular economy principles and nature-based solutions. Above: Triodos Bank, a reconstructable office building in Netherlands Have you ever walked past a construction site and marvelled at the amount of material piled up at the site waiting to be used? Or thought about how far the material could have travelled to get here? Or going beyond that, all the work and transport needed to extract the raw materials for manufac- ture into products like cement and steel in the first place? Each of these stages requires energy consumption which in turn results in the production of greenhouse gas emissions. These carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions that are released during the non-operational phase of a project are known as ‘embodied carbon’. This includes the afore- mentioned manufacturing and transportation phases but also the construction, maintenance, repair and end of life phases. These emissions contribute around 11% of all global energy-related carbon emissions and 28% of building sector emissions 1 . In Singapore, where the lifespan of buildings is shorter due to urban renewal, embodied carbon emissions could be higher at up to 40% of building sector emissions 2 . Moreover, as building operations becomes more efficient and energy sources become greener, embodied carbon is estimated to become the sector’s dominant climate impact driver. For context, the built environment sector is currently responsible for close to 40% of global energy-related carbon emissions 3 . With the latest IPCC report sounding the code red for hu- manity that the window of opportunity for climate action is fast closing, the built environment sector needs to acceler- ate its efforts in contributing to a zero carbon world 4 . This means decarbonizing the whole lifecycle of our built assets, addressing not only operational carbon, but also embodied carbon. In Singapore, whilst there has been momentum on reducing operational carbon, with the Building and Construction Au- thority (BCA)’s super low energy program in place since 2018 and the country’s first new-build net zero energy building in the National University of Singapore constructed in 2019, the push for embodied carbon reductions is still in its nascen- cy. Just like operational carbon, tackling embodied carbon requires systemic change and is more complicated than tackling operational carbon, given the multiple stakeholders 5 that need to play their part. For example, material manufac- turers need to invest in research and development of new low carbon materials and disclose the embodied carbon footprint of their products whilst designers need to publicly share life cycle assessment data and propose best practise embodied carbon reduction measures, including implement- ing circularity principles 1 . Industry organizations such as the Singapore Green Building Council and Urban Land Institute Asia Pacific have both re- cently launched embodied carbon initiatives to help amplify and unify industry action. Arcadis, with our sustainability ambition to accelerate the transition to a net zero world in a way that improves quality of life for all, is a signatory to both initiatives. We are committed to supporting our clients in their journey towards whole lifecycle decarbonization. Our award winning 6 quantity surveying team recognizes that quantity surveyors have the unique opportunity to expand our current service of providing insight on cost drivers, the estimated overall cost of a project, and the current state of the construction materials market, to include the cost of em- bodied carbon. Given the national and local embodied carbon regulations in Europe 7 , Arcadis, as a global consultancy, has experience in whole life carbon assessments of projects and we hope to bring that service to more clients in Singapore and the rest of Asia. Transforming our built environment from the current linear model to a circular one is also key to reducing embodied carbon. The value of materials in buildings can be retained through designing buildings dynamically and flexibly, a concept known as buildings as material banks. An example is Triodos Bank office in Netherlands, one of the world’s first large-scale, 100% wood, reconstructable office buildings. Materials were selected and planned with re-use in mind, and as a building held together by screws, it is possible to dis- mantle the building without producing waste. Arcadis led the landscape architecture advisory, spatial planning, environ- mental research and green building (BREEAM) certification. Lastly, addressing impacts on nature has synergistic effects with climate action and should always be considered. For NIKE Wings Distribution Center in Belgium for example, Arcadis advised on nature-based solutions to attain no net loss for biodiversity. Arcadis provided consultancy for land- scaping, biodiversity measures and biodiversity design. To drive the wider nature positive agenda, Arcadis is also part of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)’s Nature Action Project, which is developing nature positive roadmaps for various sectors, including the built environment. A true zero carbon future is one where all new buildings, infrastructure and renovations are both net zero operational and embodied carbon, just as envisioned in The World Green Building Council’s 2050 target for the industry1. With the adoption of circularity principles and nature positive mea- sures, we can accelerate the transition to a more sustainable future. Because there is no planet B. Footnotes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront (2019) World Green Building Council In Focus: Is there an environmental cost from Singapore’s love affair with en bloc sales? (2021) Channel News Asia 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction. Glob- al Alliance for Buildings and Construction How the Built Environment Must Respond to the IPCC’s 2021 Climate Change Report (2021) Arcadis The Building System Carbon Framework (2020) World Business Council for Sustainable Development Arcadis 2nd Consecutive Win as Quantity Surveying Team of the Year at the RICS Decarbonizing Construction: Guidance for Investors and Developers to Reduce Embodied Carbon (2021) World Business Council for Sustainable Development Below: Nike Wings Distrubtion Centre, a no net loss for biodiversity project in Belgium ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE COMPANY Pei Ya is the regional corporate sustainability lead for Arcadis Asia. She is responsible for translating Arcadis’ global sustainability strategy into regional programs and goals. She drives Arcadis Asia’s carbon reduction plan as part of Arcadis’ global net zero by 2035 goal and supports Arcadis’ key business lines and client development team in integrating sustainability into client solutions in Asia. Pei Ya also supports the sustainability advisory team, helping clients span- ning the real estate industry to the investment industry in sustain- ability strategy development and sustainability reporting. Arcadis is the leading global design & consultancy organization for natural and built assets. We maximize impact for our clients and the communities they serve by providing effective solutions through sus- tainable outcomes, focus and scale, and digitalization. We are over 27,000 people, active in more than 70 countries that generate €3.3 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and ex- pertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world. Visit www.arcadis.com for more. SPECIAL FEATURE: SUSTAINABILITY GETTING TO TRUE CARBON ZERO IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT