In an article by Energy.gov, The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $45 million to support the development of technologies that can transform buildings into net carbon storage structures. With carbon-storing building materials often being scarce, expensive, and geographically limited, DOE is pioneering technologies that overcome these barriers to lower or eliminate emissions associated with their production. This will also increase the total amount of carbon stored in buildings to make them net carbon negative and contribute to President Biden’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the material manufacturing and construction, renovation, and disposal of buildings at the end of their service life, accounts for about 10% of total annual emissions in the United States. These embodied emissions are concentrated at the start of a building’s lifetime, making them essential to address given the urgency of meeting national energy and environmental challenges. More importantly, these emissions are making up an increasing percentage of total building life cycle emissions as operational emissions decline due to factors like efficiency improvements and the decarbonization of the electric grid.