Passivhaus Consultant and Designer, Bristol.  Very Low Energy Buildings.  Domestic and non-domestic.  New build and refurbishment. 

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Bristol, UK


Entries in Carbon Sequestration (4)


Lib Dems Refurbishment & Carbon Sequestration Proposals

The Lib Dems have published a policy document entitled Transition to Zero Carbon Britain (  On housing it is proposed that all existing buildings are refurbished to the Passivhaus refurbishment standard EnePHit.  I think they need to consider the costs and practicalities of this.  We have just done a refubishment job which cost over £100,000 for a three bedroomed detached house and despite our efforts the project fell short of the EnerPHit standard (mostly due to the large areas of north facing windows).  Let's say we would have been able to achieve EnerPHit for £100,000 the cost of achieving this across the housing stock at even a fraction of this rate would be astronomical.  

So, whilst I support the sentiment and ambition I think the Lib Dems need to think about the most cost effective ways of reaching our carbon targets.  A lesser, more achievable but still ambitious standard, needs to be combined with a low carbon grid.

Carbon sequestration is put at the centre of the policy in the first paragraph which states Our aim is that emissions in the UK should broadly be balancd by greenhouse gases sequestered in the UK.  There is absolutely no meat on this proposal though.   Natural carbon sequestration gets a brief mention in Section 8, with a focus on biochar.  There's nothing on carbon sequestration by harvested wood products or building materials.  More work required here too.


International Panel Products Association Symposium

Piers has been invited and have agreed to speak at the Internation Panel Products Symposium in Llandudno in on 12/13 October on carbon sequestration by building materials.  This follows on from his MSc Dissertation and subsequent work funded by DECC and the ASBP.


Carbon sequestration by buildings

The Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) have recently been publicising work we did for them last year where we estimated the potential for sequestering CO2 in the UK building stock.  We estimated that up to 22MtCO2 per year could be sequestered by 2050 if policy was directed towards use of biogenic materials.  Follow link for sequestered carbon report.

ASBP have discussed the figure with DECC who are interested in the clear potential of carbon sequestration by buildings.



Can carbon sequestration by buildings make a difference?

The answer is yes.  Following on from my MSc Dissertation completed January 2010, on carbon sequestration by housing, I have been asked by the Alliance of Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) to undertake research into carbon sequestration by buildings/construction as a whole.

Preliminary indications from the work are that more than 10Mt/yr of carbon dioxide are already being sequestered by buildings and that this figure could be increased to more than 20Mt/yr by 2050 with appropriate policies to encourage the use of wood and biogenic materials. 

Watch this space for updates.