Decarbonization: Products Help Hit Carbon Reduction Targets

A new report on decarbonization leverages COGNITION Smart Data survey results and research on innovations in the building industry.

Decarbonization Report featured image

Buildings in the U.S. are estimated by the Energy Department to account for 40 percent of this country’s total energy use and 40 percent of its carbon emissions. That puts a special responsibility on the building industry and offers an opportunity to innovate to take action to reduce their carbon footprint.

As part of the latest Green Builder Media COGNITION Smart Data survey, we asked more than 1,200 building industry professionals and consumers about what they think–and what they’re doing–to decarbonize. In the full report, we dig deeper into the products and technology that can help builders make progress on their decarbonization goals and provide more energy efficient and sustainable homes and buildings for their customers.

What’s the Best Way to Decarbonize?

Adopting renewable energy, the leading method to decarbonize according to industry pros, can be accomplished by installing solar systems like the ones offered by Panasonic Solar . Adding storage to on-site energy production reduces a building’s lifelong carbon footprint, may produce a net energy surplus, lowers energy bills and provides resilience during power outages.

Reducing emissions from manufacturing and industrial sites, the third most mentioned method to decarbonize, can be improved by choosing products from companies committed to their own decarbonization goals and who make products from recycled and durable materials. 

For example, Crossville makes carbon neutral porcelain tiles . Research shows that ceramic tile flooring has a significantly longer lifespan than carpet and vinyl products and is the most economical of flooring options.

What Are Companies Doing to Decarbonize?

Builders in the COGNITION survey reported taking multiple steps to decarbonize such as adopting renewable energy, electrifying homes and transportation, reducing emissions from manufacturing and designing for resiliency.

The introduction of solar systems with storage can provide the extra electrical power needed for all-electric buildings.

Part of designing for resiliency includes using durable materials and creating homes and buildings with a tight envelope to reduce energy consumption, which in turn means the buildings can withstand the impact of power outages for a longer period. 

For example, a product such as LP Techshield , a moisture-resistant panel, reduces heat in the attic to lower energy consumption for cooling. The panels also add durability to the roof so that it lasts longer.

The good news is that consumers surveyed by Green Builder said they are willing to pay more for homes built with decarbonization strategies. In addition, numerous companies are investing billions of dollars in technology, products and systems to support the transition to a carbon-free environment within the next two decades.

To learn more, download the full decarbonization report here.