The carbon cost of a home has for many years been more focussed on the way it is used and less about the actual carbon spent in building it.
But with the Government’s zero carbon emissions 2050 target, the construction sector is under increasing pressure to build in a more environmentally friendly way.
For Chris Williams, Managing Director of Green Life Buildings (GLB), the lifecycle of a building when it comes to its carbon footprint has always been at the forefront of his mind.
Which is why its GLB M2 advanced building system has been designed to provide both.
“Reducing the carbon footprint of homes and the building process is where we need to be to reduce pollution and carbon,” said Chris.
“So, at GLB and with the 35 years of built knowledge from Emmedue we looked at how to create a home with a small carbon footprint that in turn yields a living environment that needs less to heat and cool.”
The GLB system uses world class and unique to the UK prefabricated insulated panels where the design means the insulation enhances the strength and resilience of the panels, allowing more space available for insulation, and less of other materials need be used.
Once in position onsite, they only require a thin layer of concrete applied to both faces. The panels, which weigh no more than 5kgs per square metre before concrete coating, can form walls, floors, landings, roofs, stairs, and internal partitions meaning multiple family homes can be constructed almost entirely from the same material in less than six weeks.
This system makes the panels the lightest to handle of any building system (per square metre) and provides unmatched properties for resilience, safety, comfort, and speed of build.
It also provides unbeatable low carbon emissions, relating to the energy saving during manufacture/embodied carbon and the energy/carbon savings when in use.
Chris explained: “Using Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and concrete together means you have a home that’s made with less embodied carbon and a home with the insulation and cooling requirements needed to make life use lower from a carbon point of view.
“Just 80mm of our low carbon concrete provides a structural wall with a carbon footprint of only 33kg/m2. When you consider a brick/block wall insulated to the same U value with mineral wool would be 177kg/m2 then the difference is huge. The systems embodied carbon is over 40% less than a traditional home, and each home built using the system could save 40 tonnes of carbon.”
With the built environment contributing around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, and almost half of this from energy used in buildings, the carbon embodied through construction is not the only major challenge.
A home’s whole life carbon assessment provides a true picture of a building’s carbon impact on the environment.
“The hard truth is that all buildings have a carbon footprint, so we have to make sure it has the smallest impact possible on the environment during its operations and activities, from the materials, construction and its use over its entire life,” said Chris.
“Once constructed, a home using the GLB M2 advanced building system can reduce the occupants carbon footprint by up to 65% when in use compared to a traditional masonry and timber roofs, thanks to keeping the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
“And we haven’t even touched on the fact that one truck can be used to carry all the panels needed to construct a single home, cutting deliveries of the materials around the country and reducing carbon emissions that way. From its creation, maintenance and use, a home built using our system is green from the very beginning.”
The GLB M2 system is LABC Assured and the same M2 technology has been used to construct over 1 million buildings worldwide. From its Corby-based, state-of-the-art factory, GLB can manufacture and supply enough panels to make 4000 homes a year. For more information visit www.greenlife-manufacturing.co.uk.
We know you are under pressure to reduce construction costs and build time, while also building in a more sustainable way. Our building system will provide you with greater speed of construction, a lower carbon footprint and better value than traditional bricks and mortar, steel, or timber frames. So, why not change the way you build today?Price Your Job
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