The term net-zero carbon is one that has steamrolled into everyone’s lives over the past few years and is becoming increasingly important as time goes on. The UK Government have committed to net-zero by 2050 as well as a huge list of countries who have also made the pledge.
Climate change is so important to so many and being able to contribute to net-zero carbon can be a great way for you to do your bit for the fight against climate change, but where do we start and what can we do to contribute?
The built environment is responsible for 40% of the UK’s carbon footprint and reducing this to net-zero has been set out in publications and commitments by the government by 2030 for new builds, we specialise in the design and assessments of the built environment and how new and existing buildings are producing carbon emissions and how we can reduce these in line with the net-zero commitments, this involves complex modelling and careful design of all aspects of a building and specification of low and zero carbon technologies and HVAC systems. But how can we all contribute as individuals, business, employers and environmentalists. After all the way we ultimately use out buildings is what produces the carbon emissions in the first place.
We will be releasing a series of topics to review how we can all reduce our carbon footprints and help achieve the essential carbon targets. the first set in the serious is on lighting.
When it comes to personal and business routines, we find ourselves following similar patterns on a daily basis, especially when it comes to our work activities. For so long we have known that the use of energy efficient lighting is going to reduce the amount of carbon emissions but now is the time to evaluate the use of lighting to a whole new level. How do you start your day? what does your office look like when you first arrive? do you alter the lighting throughout the day? how is your lighting controlled?
So many questions can be opened up about how we use lighting on a daily basis but the general principle is everytime we use a light we are creating carbon emissions (unless of cause you work or live in a net-zero carbon building already). So do we need lighting for everything we do? or is it just the norm.
So what can we do? look around you as you read this and assess, do we need additional lighting right now, are we utilising sun light as much as we can, and even if the answer to the above is yes and you do need additional lighting, ask, do we need additional lighting everywhere or just in certain areas. The use of natural lighting is a key element in this and recognising that lighting changes throughout the day can play a huge part in the reduction of your carbon footprint.
To summarise, we can reduce our carbon footprint by;
- Utilising natural sunlight in our home and work environments and recognise when the requirements for light change throughout the day (why not install daylight sensors that automatically turn off the lights when the levels are met via natural light)
- Use specific task lighting rather than general lighting, in today’s world the office environment is more than likely rarely working at 100% capacity, however the lighting is normally facilitating the whole office.
- Layout and design is another key aspect, design your environment to maximise daylight and use that to your advantage, place your key working areas in areas of maximum daylight and reduce the hours working in predominantly artificially lit areas.
- Use Low energy lighting where possible! of course this one has been around for a while but it doesnt make it any less important, where lighting is required we can still minise the carbon production.
- Educate, an all important fact of reducing the carbon emissions of our buildings and our individual carbon footprint is spreading our knowledge to our friends and colleagues, small changes made by all is equally as large as big changes made by few.
Hoepfully the above has given you a good start on how we can reduce our carbon footprint today with really minimal work, we will be releasing more tips and assistance on all aspects of net-zero from the design of projects, ventilation, HVAC, travel and much more.