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Maximising the potential of the existing building stock

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Maria Marques de Carvalho.

Delivering real zero by 2050 is a significant challenge for the built environment. There are two main areas that need to be decarbonised: 1) operations emissions, and 2) embodied emissions. The operational emissions challenge in the UK is largely rooted in the scale of the retrofit challenge. The energy efficiency of the existing stock needs to be drastically improved, and heating systems moved away from gas. The embodied emissions challenge is a different one, here the emissions largely arise from new construction, which is still heavily reliant on energy intensive materials that are difficult to decarbonise. But in an industrialised nation, such as the UK, to what extent should we be building new structures? Can we make better use of the existing building stock to meet our current needs? To do this we need to understand much more about the existing stock. How can it be adapted, and repurposed? What is the stock of resources available that can be reused? This talk will explore these ideas and detail the research underway in the EPSRC funded project ‘multi-scale, circular economic potential of the non-residential building stock’.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Structures Research Seminars series.

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