Do buildings emit CO2?

Published on Feb 2, 2022

To the starters, this might be intriguing or even look lame to start. But nature is complicated and humans make it much more complex. And the answer is Yes, they emit CO₂.

But how can they? I don’t see it in the air, do I? 🤔

Buildings or for that matter any built spaces are nothing but made out of concrete, steel, cement and bricks to provide shelter and run on electricity to satisfy our needs.

It is the skeleton of the buildings that result in such emissions. You buy cement or concrete to build. The cement-making factories emit CO₂ to make this stuff. Well, you might end up saying this is a one-time emission i.e. during construction, why should we bother?

But then, there is running cost. You use electricity daily to run your things. This electricity isn’t clean, at least in India, where 76% is from Coal (as of 2017). So, that’s how they end up emitting carbon.

This is all fine but do these buildings emit so much that we have to worry about? Yes, it does.
As per the report by United Nations Environment Programme (Dec’20), buildings emit more than a third of global-energy related CO₂ i.e. 10 Gigatonnes. 😱

Building operations accounted for 28% of global emissions whereas construction-related activities (cement, glass, concrete, etc) accounted for another 10% of the global emissions (Global Status report for Building & Construction,2020).

Such types of emissions are categorised under Scope 1&2. If you want to know how intertwined this CO2 emission calculation is, read this blog, where we’ve explained various forms of emissions.

So next time someone asks. “Do buildings emit CO2?”, you know the answer.😎

And yes, nature is complicated.

Written by Zodhya

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