Embodied carbon in building regulation – development and implementation in Finland, Sweden and Denmark

Freja Nygaard Rasmussen, Harpa Birgisdóttir, Tove Malmqvist, Matti Kuittinen, Tarja Häkkinen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Initiatives on operational carbon have been an integrated part of legislation in many countries for decades, but the issue of embodied carbon is just starting its breakthrough in a regulatory context. This chapter provides an account of how the introduction of LCA-based limit values for whole-life-carbon has been approached in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. The starting point for these whole-life-carbon declarations have been the policies outlined via national climate acts, and there has been extensive knowledge exchange between the three neighbouring countries. Still, the LCA-based assessment methods outlined for the regulation have taken significantly different paths. For instance, the Swedish approach focuses on the upfront carbon from production and construction processes, whereas the other two approaches include the use- and the end-of-life stages. The methodological variations reflect the different national weightings between the ease-of-application for users and the accuracy- to-scope of the building model and its real life-cycle impact. All three approaches have drawn up reference values for typical buildings, and have already, or are planning to, introduce politically defined limit values for new buildings. At the same time, distributions from a global carbon budget approach show large discrepancies between the emsissions ‘allowed’ for new constructions (<2 kg CO2e/m2/year) and the limit- and reference values in place for the countries (around 9-15 kg CO2e/m2/year). This makes it clear that additional giant leaps are needed for policies in the building industry to operate within the planetary boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Embodied Carbon in the Built Environment
EditorsRahman Azari, Alice Moncaster
Number of pages18
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Publication date2023
Pages85-102
ISBN (Print)9781032234861
ISBN (Electronic)9781003820031
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 selection and editorial matter, Rahman Azari and Alice Moncaster.

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