Reducing Carbon Reduces Cost
The construction industry is constantly seeking innovative solutions to reduce its carbon footprint. One solution is adapting offsite techniques to address this challenge.
buildeco uses a cradle to site process that considers the total embodied energy equation from extraction of the raw materials, through to manufacturing, transportation and installation to occupancy. With one of the lowest carbon footprints within the built environment, further carbon reductions of between 30-50% are achieved by buildeco’s lightweight structure requiring shallower foundations and reduced lorry deliveries.
Waste is further minimized by working with standardised components. Where possible, materials are sourced from suppliers at the required sizes, further reducing the carbon footprint.
buildeco buildings achieve low levels of captured carbon within the building due to the two main principal materials used in the structure.
Timber is one of these as it is the most ecological building material with 800 kg of stored CO2 in each cubic metre. It is used for the construction of the cassette frame which are CNC machined from solid grade C24 timber or (LVL) laminated veneer lumber.
For example of C24 timber project refer to Modular Education Building ‘Classrooms’ and for LVL project refer to Modular Extensions ‘Modular Rear Extension’.
LVL is an engineered wood product that uses multiple layers of thin wood assembled with adhesives. LVL offers several advantages over typical milled timber including (CLT) cross laminated timber, it’s stronger, straighter, uniform and less likely to warp, twist, bow, or shrink.
The other material used is magnesium oxide for the sheathing (known as MgO board) which is applied to either side of the cassette forming the external skin for the composite panel. It has 400 kg of stored CO2 in each 1000 kg of MgO board.
The manufacture of MgO board uses 50% less energy consumption compared with the production of other cement base boards. With the rising use of MgO board within the construction industry, it is being recognised for its environmental benefits as magnesium is considered the eighth most abundant natural mineral with a plentiful supply expected to last for centuries.
Compared with similar size properties of 101m2, we estimate that a timber frame house has 43 tonnes of carbon storage, and a traditionally-built house 25 tonnes, whereas a buildeco house has 85 tonnes due to the greater use of the two principal materials used in our construction methods.
Light Gauge Steel System (cold-formed)
Improved design solutions continue to be developed as buildeco strives to drive down costs. A new panel type manufactured from (LGS) light gauge steel has been developed to overcome the cold-bridging problems commonly found in steel frames. This new solution has come about following enquiries from overseas requesting an alternative to the use of timber. Concerns were raised about possible termite attack when using timber. The timber could be treated with insecticide but this is considered non environmentally-friendly. Light gauge steel panels will now be an optional choice for clients. The steel cassette frame will still have MgO sheathing boards applied to both sides, forming a composite panel.
For example of LGS project refer to Modular Garden Retreat ‘Home Garden Room’
Steel Circular Economy
Sustainable economics reduces the burden on nature by ensuring resources remain in use for as long as possible. Steel has been recycled ever since it was first made over and over again to create new steel products. Steel is the most recycled material and maintains the inherent properties of the original steel. These properties can be modified during the steelmaking process to create many advanced steel grades.
Around 650 million tonnes (Mt) of steel are recycled around the world annually, avoiding over 900 Mt of CO2 emissions. One tonne of recycled steel conserves extracting 1,400 kg of iron ore, 740 kg of coal and 120 kg of limestone in raw materials, savings in electrical energy required to heat and produce the molten liquid and savings in CO2 emissions required for any transportation.