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Net Zero Carbon Glossary

Net Zero Whole Life Carbon

The sum total of all asset (building/interior) related GHG emissions, both embodied and operational, over an asset’s whole life cycle are minimised, meet local carbon, energy and water targets, and with residual ‘offsets’, then equals zero.

Operational carbon Scope 1 (Direct)

A net zero carbon building is highly energy efficient with all remaining energy from onsite and/or offsite renewable resources.

Operational carbon includes carbon dioxide and equivalent global warming potential (GWP) of other gases (for example refrigerants) associated with the in-use operation of the building. This usually includes carbon emissions associated with heating, hot water, cooling, ventilation, and lighting systems, as well as those associated with cooking, equipment, and lifts (i.e. both regulated and unregulated energy uses).

Where no fossil fuels are used, all energy use is minimised, meets local energy use targets, and all energy use is generated on or off-site using renewables. Any residual direct or indirect emissions from energy generation and distribution are offset.

Operational carbon Scope 3 (Indirect)

Within Scope 3 is the embodied carbon from the processing and treatment of water. The GHG emissions arising from water supply and wastewater treatment are to be offset.

There is also embodied carbon from the maintenance and repair process.

Embodied carbon (Upstream, Operational & Downstream)

A net zero embodied carbon building (new or renovated) is highly resource efficient with upfront carbon minimised to the greatest extent possible and all remaining embodied carbon reduced or, as a last resort, offset in order to achieve net zero across the lifecycle.

Embodied carbon includes the carbon emissions associated with the extraction and processing of materials and the energy and water consumption used by the factory in producing products and constructing the building and interior. It also includes the ‘in-use’ stage (maintenance, replacement, and repair) and ‘end of life’ stage (demolition, disassembly, and disposal of any parts of a building / interior) and any transportation relating to the above.

The sum total of all GHG emissions and removals over a building / interior’s life cycle are minimised, meet local carbon targets, and with additional offsets then equals zero.

To read more about how we can help you with your Net Zero targets, see HERE.



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