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Net zero carbon buildings: On the road to climate neutral

In our latest blog on net zero carbon buildings, you will learn what a zero carbon building is and what the difference is between carbon neutral and net zero. We will also give you 5 handy tips to achieve a carbon neutral building.
Building Automation
Net Zero
15 May 2024

By 2024, it is inevitable for building managers, property owners and investors to build or renovate their buildings as sustainably as possible. In this blog you will read how you can make your building carbon neutral. Whether you are building from scratch or renovating an existing property.

What is a zero carbon building?

A zero carbon building is all about minimizing the CO2 emissions associated with both the construction process and the lifetime of a building. It includes using sustainable materials, energy-efficient designs, such as those with good building insulation and ventilation, implementing sustainable HVAC systems, and minimizing waste during and after construction. In this way, a carbon-neutral building contributes to reducing climate impact and provides a healthier living environment for users and the environment. By 2024, it is inevitable for building managers, property owners and investors to build or renovate their buildings as sustainably as possible. 

Carbon neutral vs net zero 

Carbon neutral" and "net zero" are often used interchangeably, but there are subtle differences between the two terms. While both terms aim to mitigate climate change by reducing or offsetting carbon emissions, "carbon neutral" typically focuses on achieving a balance of CO2 emissions, while "net zero" extends this goal to include all greenhouse gases, aiming for a complete elimination or significant reduction in emissions across the board.

White Concrete Building During Daytime

5 steps to a carbon neutral building

Now that we know the meaning and differences between carbon neutral and net zero, let's turn to the question that concerns many entrepreneurs and managers in our sector : "How do I make my building carbon neutral?"

Making your building carbon neutral involves the following steps (among others):  

1. Energy-efficient design

Start a new project with a well-thought-out design that focuses on energy efficiency. Consider insulation, natural ventilation and the use of renewable energy sources.

2. Use sustainable materials

Use materials with a low carbon footprint and that are recyclable. For example, choose wood from sustainably managed forests and recycled materials.

3. Energy-efficient facilities

Invest in energy-efficient HVAC systems, lighting and equipment to minimize energy consumption.

4. Monitoring and optimization

Implement systems for monitoring and optimizing energy use, such as smart meters and building management systems.

5. Maintenance and renovation

Ensure regular maintenance and consider renovations to improve the building's energy efficiency and extend its lifetime.

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UK carbon neutral in 2050

In 2019, the UK took a pioneering step by becoming the first major economy to pass laws aimed at achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Subsequently, in April 2021, it  solidified an ambitious target into UK law, aiming to slash emissions by 78% from 1990 levels by 2035. The plan describes decarbonisation of heat generated by buildings, better energy performance, funding and financial support to enable voluntary uptake of building performance upgrades, developing a  heat pump supply chain through the introduction of regulation to phase out the installation of high carbon fossil fuels off the gas grid. The latest date for all new heating systems to be net zero compatible, is 2035. You can read more about it in the “Heat and Buildings Strategy” from the UK Government. 

Priva's vision for zero carbon buildings

At Priva, we strive for innovative solutions for carbon neutral buildings. Our expertise in building automation and climate control makes it possible to create sustainable buildings that meet the highest standards of energy efficiency and comfort. In some cases, this even allows you to automatically meet the applicable European climate requirements. 

Contact us for advice and more information on how we can work together to achieve zero carbon buildings.

Would you like more information? We are happy to help you!

Bill Whittaker

Business Development Manager

Bill Whittaker