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    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
    This was one of the discussions in my MSc Technical Architecture lecture (advanced environmental theory)
    How can you get a Zero Carbon House? and when do you stop counting the carbon/embodied energy? From extracting the materials to demolishing the building there is a constant input of carbon. Carbon Neutral okay.....isn't that just carbon offsetting but in reverse?

    So when does the line get drawn for the carbon input of a product? If you have a factory manufacturing a product, do you count the carbon it took to build the factory, maintancence involved to keep that factory running, the commute of the workers every day, the energy used to keep those workers fit and well (eg the bowl of cornflakes in the morning)? All of this has an affect on the embodied energy of the product but where do you draw the line?

    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
    What i should of added in addition to the above is:

    So the term Zero Carbon is it a reality or just a sales tactic? personally I think its just a sales tactic.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
    Zero carbon is possible -- eg a mud hut or a house with micro generation

    They have stolen the idea and are turning it into a marketing too-- very sad.
    • CommentTimeMar 7th 2008
    But for it to work in the UK without the threat of reducing the Hi Tec life we have come acustom too?
    Well if your going to be picky about the term 0 carbon then in modern life because we use soo many different things that produce C02 it would properly be impossible to make a 0 carbon house. Even that mud hut maybe someone who helped build it bought food from a supermarket that had its food delivered by a truck. Therefore the fuel they used to build the house was food that had been delivered producing C02.

    So maybe for a term like that to be used there should be rules and guides. For example a house could be considered 0 carbon if none of the materials used to build it produced any carbon emissions, also the method used to build shouldn't produce any C02. In my mind that would be a 0 carbon home.

    To work in this country? I doubt it to keep the quality of life we currently have.

    But there is always a twist, as most of the things that are used can be extracted using electricity, and formed using electricity, then fitted using electricity. What if a renewable none C02 producing source like solar or wind electricity was used for all of the stages. It's not completely unfeasible and maybe in a few decades it will be the case.
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2008
    Exactly. there currently is no rules about what makes a Zero Carbon building, Zero Carbon. It's open to personal interputation.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2008
    Or worse politicians interpretations
    If anyone who built a new building had to plants tress in the UK to offset the energy used in the construction we would have a lot more trees that could be used for building a few decades time. Just an idea.
    • CommentAuthorStuartB
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2008
    Its impossible to calculate embodied energy - where do you stop. Zero carbon/carbon neutral/negative carbon - does anyone actually know what these terms mean? My electricity supplier has a carbon neutral tariff (exactly the same price as the normal tariff), its carbon neutral because they will send some money to some woodland trust somewhere to plant a few trees. These trees will soak up all the C02 I use apparently.

    So if I build a house out of concrete and steel and have tons of electrical gadgets, outdoor lighting etc with massive power bills but plant a dozen trees in the garden to soak up my CO2, will this house be carbon neutral?:neutral:
    • CommentAuthorStuartB
    • CommentTimeMar 12th 2008
    Meant to answer your question - sales tactic!
    • CommentAuthorTerry
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2008
    or worse, political tactic
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