Construction Climate Challenge

April 18 2017

Speakers at Construction Climate Challenge seminar, Reducing Carbon in Infrastructure Construction, call for coordinated industry value chain analysis to deliver step change in sustainable performance.

In Las Vegas was the venue for the latest gathering of the Construction Climate Challenge. Tackling issues such as calculating the whole life impact of building materials, the potential for cutting emissions in construction equipment and the environmental opportunities of delivering California’s high speed rail system, leading speakers discussed the climate challenges of reducing Carbon in Infrastructure Construction from their own diverse perspectives.

The Construction Climate Challenge is an initiative hosted by Volvo Construction Equipment, whose aim is to promote environmental awareness, enhance collaboration and share best practices throughout the construction industry value chain. The Las Vegas seminar was moderated by Dr. Bryan Staley, president and CEO of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation.

Dr. Staley also discussed the consequences and complexities of calculating the lifetime environmental impact of building material choices. He discussed how manufacturing processes, construction quality, transportation and material longevity all affect the whole life environmental impact calculation, adding to the difficulty of accurately determining the optimal building material choices. “Even using recycled materials, while intrinsically beneficial, doesn’t always lead to reduced emissions. Thankfully, models used to estimate emissions are becoming more sophisticated, leading to greater accuracy and the ability to accommodate site-specific optimization of emissions and cost,” commented Dr. Staley.