Sustainable construction materials and technologies: Second International Conference on Sustainable Construction Materials and Technologies, Ancona, Italy

Written by esba

Some construction materials can sequester carbon, balancing emissions from other materials and operating energy. This paper shows the ability of house design and construction to reduce CO₂ emissions towards net-zero, by using biomaterials (strawbale and timber), and emission-reducing technologies. A life cycle analysis of different house designs was used to compare the effectiveness of biomaterials with CO₂ -minimising technologies. End-of-life scenarios for materials are discussed. Strawbale and timber are ranked with other materials, energy-producing technologies, and efficient appliances, to compare CO₂ reductions. A limit to benefits from conventional insulation is identified; while strawbale is shown to continue providing thermal and CO₂ sequestration benefits as R-values increase. Strawbale and timber for house construction are as effective at reducing CO₂ -e emissions (by about half) as solar hot water, photovoltaics, efficient appliances, and efficient lighting combined. In combination, strawbale, timber, and emission-reducing technologies can potentially make houses net-absorbers of CO₂.

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About the author


The European Straw Building Association is an independent European association, devoid of any profit making motive. The object of the Association is to promote and develop the use of straw, as a sustainable way of building in all the senses of the term “sustainable”: renewable, ecological, healthy, energy and climate efficient, social and economic.
The Association is a federation composed of organisations and people particularly concerned with the use of straw in buildings.