The building industry can play a major role in cutting the emission of greenhouse gases according to research by construction material supplier Saint-Gobain.
The company’s research and development director Dr Lionel Raynaud said by the year 2050 a total of 80 gigatonnes (one billion tonnes equals one gigatonne) of carbon dioxide will be released into the air each year.
In 1970 the figure was 14.9 and three years ago it was 35.6.
Raynaud said: “We have a problem. We need to reduce our emissions and the construction industry needs to play its part.”
He told a session at Saint-Gobain’s 350 anniversary event, held in Abu Dhabi, that the building business accounts for between 25 and 40% of all energy usage at present, the same amount of solid waste generation, 20% of all water usage and the production of between 30 and 40% of greenhouse gases let loose into the atmosphere.
Analysis of the life-cycle of a product is a way forward to ensure maximum recycling opportunities, said Raynaud.
“A multi-criteria approach must be identified to ensure that the approach adopted does not favour one aspect but is detrimental to other impact factors,” he said.