For the developed world to advance its carbon reduction goals, building construction norms must be confronted and reimagined. That’s because the building industry is responsible for more than 35% of global annual emissions due to embodied carbon from construction. Houses are still largely built using technologies, materials, and methods from 40+ years ago, and the need for homes and residential buildings is higher than ever. The bottom line is that we cannot stop building as a quick fix to lower emissions.
The solution? Offsite manufacturing, where homes and other structures are built on a production line in a factory using innovative new techniques and materials to create substantial carbon savings in both embodied and operational carbon emissions.
What is Embodied Carbon and why is it important?
There are two types of carbon emissions in construction: operational and embodied. Operational carbon describes the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted during a building’s life and use – energy used for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and power. Fortunately, advances in high-performance building upgrades and energy-efficient renovations can help to cut operational carbon emissions over time.
Embodied carbon refers to the greenhouse gas emissions that arise during manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of building materials. Most of a building’s total embodied carbon is released in the construction stage at the beginning of a building’s life, with virtually no chance to decrease that embodied carbon through efficiency updates after construction. Embodied carbon is essentially “locked” into the building. Any opportunities to cut embodied carbon must come during the construction process itself.
S2A Modular has embraced the challenge of reducing embodied carbon in the construction of its new MegaFactory in Patterson, California through the use of energy-efficient DC powered lighting along with solar energy generation and on-site energy storage using a Tesla Megapack. These technologies have eliminated over 37,000 pounds of embodied carbon from the factory’s construction footprint – mostly eliminating the need for steel, copper, and vinyl – which are among the most energy-intensive materials to produce. By transitioning to more sustainable products, many of which are proprietary and exclusive to S2A, the company avoids the carbon-costly need to manufacture, transport, or install steel and other heavy materials in a construction project. Additionally, S2A’s use of DC lighting and solar power cut the energy required for lighting by over 60 percent.
S2A’s commitment to embodied carbon reduction, and future-forward materials, extends to all future MegaFactories and their signature, self-sustaining modular #GreenLuxHomes; setting the standard for the design and construction of luxury homes and multi-residential buildings – significantly reducing embodied carbon in the construction process.
Ready to take on real reductions in embodied carbon?
Follow S2A’s progress integrating green building practices and innovative carbon-reducing materials in their new modular production MegaFactory in Patterson, California. You can also join a growing network of environmentally- and sustainability-conscious investors and associate builders and developers who are turning to S2A’s modular construction and self-sustaining products to lay the foundation for future construction standards.
Please contact us at S2amodular.com/contact to learn more.