How to reduce carbon emissions in the construction industry

Construction is one of the most resource-intensive sectors of the economy

Buildings account for 39% of energy-related global carbon emissions.

And at least ¼ of these emissions come from embodied carbon, or the carbon emissions associated with building materials and construction. 


The average amount of waste generated by construction projects.


The amount of annual energy consumption spent on buildings.


The annual domestic carbon footprint created by construction projects.


The percentage of total carbon emissions from cement, steel, aluminum, and plastics.

Most of a building's embodied carbon emissions occur during the product stage, marking the beginning of its lifecycle.

Unlike operational carbon, embodied carbon is fixed once construction is complete, with no retroactive solutions available. This
means the decisions made during the design and material selection phases are crucial, as they have immediate and lasting
environmental consequences.

Ways to reduce embodied carbon in buildings 

  • Update/retrofit buildings instead of constructing new ones 
  • Reuse and recycle building materials 
  • Choose lower carbon materials 
  • Limit the use of higher carbon materials 
  • Choose materials crafted closer to home 
  • Use prefabricated structures, especially prefabricated steel

But it can be hard to find accurate information about the sustainability of various building materials.

Determining CO2 emissions for concrete, for example, isn’t a straightforward process: it depends on several variables, from the production process to the location of the fabricator to the amount of ash in the concrete mix. Finding exact calculations for each of these variables can be frustrating, time-consuming, and ultimately might feel like more effort than it’s worth.

With Naviate Zero, it’s easy to make more sustainable choices.

Naviate Zero gives you direct access to Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), so you can compare materials and choose the best ones for your design — all from within Revit. Create an early building lifecycle assessment (LCA) and see the LCA on your design as you work. Zero makes it easy to choose more sustainable building materials and help fight climate change.

Learn more

Naviate Zero and the importance of sustainability in building design

Learn more about how Naviate Zero helps you calculate the carbon footprint of building materials in the design phase.

Sustainable materials for a sustainable future: Introducing Naviate Zero

Dive deep into the workings of Naviate Zero and understand how it's changing the game in sustainable building.

Embodied Carbon: What it is and how to deal with it

The significance of embodied carbon in sustainability and how it can serve as a benchmark for the green credentials of new buildings.