Time to slow down on demolition?

Did you know that the global demolition and renovation market is worth over $5 trillion USD annually, but it comes at a cost to our environment. Growing awareness of embodied carbon— the emissions from the entire lifecycle of building materials—is now driving a growing shift towards renovation.

This is because we need to reduce the construction industry’s massive carbon footprint and every time we demolish a building it wastes valuable embodied carbon. Renovation, suited for structurally sound buildings, extends their lifespan, reduces emissions, and preserves historic and architectural character.

Despite higher costs, renovation reduces embodied carbon, minimizes resource extraction, and can be more cost-effective than demolition What we need then is a multi-faceted strategy to promote renovation.

This should include government incentives, public awareness campaigns, and investment in innovative renovation techniques. Developing financial models that account for embodied carbon and equipping professionals with skills for sustainable renovations is also essential.

The construction industry must move away from the "tear down and rebuild" approach and embrace renovation to minimize environmental impact and maintain community character.

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