CO2 and Resources

Resource consumption and greenhouse gases emissions are interconnected. Resources extraction, refinement, the production of materials, their use and disposal are all linked with energy consumption and emission of carbon dioxide as well as other greenhouse gases. Due to the urgency of taking action against climate change and resources depletion, it is important to have a lifecycle approach and to look at products and services during their whole life (from cradle to grave) in order to assess where action needs to be taken.

In the building sector various measures are being implemented at the international and national level in order to tackle energy consumption and consequently GHG emissions during the use phase. With the resulting reduction of climate change-related impacts during this phase, it becomes important to consider also the construction phase and the energy embedded in construction and insulation materials.

In the present work, carried out by the WRF Secretariat together with Empa and the city of St. Gallen (east Switzerland), the building stock of the city of St. Gallen is taken as a first case study. The amount of greenhouse gases embedded in the stock is assessed in respect to the amounts emitted during the use phase of the building for heating and electricity consumption. We then define the impact of a set of possible economic-, political and social measures at the city level as well as possible goals for a 2050 horizon.

In the first report the methodology and first intermediate results will be presented.