Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Reducing Embodied Carbon in Construction

To reach the UK’s Net Zero goal by 2050, we must be mindful of our environmental impact, particularly within the built environment. The UK government reported that the built environment was responsible for about a quarter of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

At present, the UK mandates reports only on operational emissions, but greenhouse gases are produced at every stage of a building’s life cycle. Embodied carbon, which includes emissions from construction, maintenance, repair, and demolition, accounts for approximately 50 million tonnes of CO2 annually. While operational emissions are on the decline, reducing embodied carbon is essential to achieve Net Zero.

Understanding Embodied Carbon

Embodied carbon emissions are associated with the entire lifecycle of a building’s materials. This includes the emissions from construction, ongoing maintenance, necessary repairs, and eventual demolition.

The Path to Decarbonisation

The UK government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy details plans to reduce carbon emissions in the manufacturing and construction sectors. This strategy underscores the significance of enhancing efficiency by transitioning to a circular economy, with a strong focus on reuse and repair.

For more than 150 years, the construction industry has adhered to a linear model, using raw materials to create products that are disposed of once they reach the end of their lifespan. This approach needs to change. Fortunately, a shift is underway, with an increasing number of construction companies prioritising waste reduction and material reuse.

The Importance of Reuse

Reusing construction materials currently treated as waste could save up to 3.3 million tonnes of CO2 annually in the UK[1]. Reuse is vital for several reasons:

  • Minimisation of Waste to Landfill: Reducing waste helps lower greenhouse gas emissions from landfill sites.
  • Energy Savings: Reusing materials requires less energy compared to producing new ones.
  • Reduction of Virgin Material Use: By reusing materials, we can significantly decrease the demand for new raw materials.
  • Promotion of a Circular Economy: Encouraging reuse supports a sustainable system where materials are continuously repurposed.

RETHYNC’s Multisite Hoarding System

It’s crucial to reduce environmental impact right from the beginning of a construction project. Site hoarding is one of the first elements installed and the last to be removed, making its sustainability critical.

Our Multisite Steel Hoarding system is designed primarily for house builders and construction companies, helping them create a professional site image while promoting sustainability. Our innovative system can be easily moved from site to site, providing significant cost and environmental savings.

At the end of its lifecycle, the steel can be recycled and reused in another form. This innovative system can be easily moved from site to site, providing significant cost and environmental savings.

Key features of the RETHYNC Multisite Hoarding include:

  • Galvanised and Powder-Coated Panels: Steel panels are galvanised on both sides and powder-coated white on one side for a professional finish. Custom corporate colours are available on request.
  • Durable and Adaptable Design: Posts are galvanised, and fittings are zinc plated. The system can accommodate gently sloping ground and gentle curves without the need for stepping or backstays, maximising usable internal space.
  • Enhanced Security Options: For increased height up to 3 meters, extension arms can be added to post tops for barbed wire or razor tape, enhancing site security.

With a lifespan of 10 years, RETHYNC’s Multisite Hoarding system can be reused multiple times, significantly reducing site setup costs. Most users see cost savings by their second site, making it a sustainable and economical choice for modern construction projects.

By focusing on reducing embodied carbon and embracing a circular economy, we can make significant strides towards our Net Zero goals.

At RETHYNC, we’re committed to leading this change in the construction industry. Drop us a line on 03300 535898 or info@rethync.co.uk to see how we can help with your construction net zero goals.


[1] RICS, 2022

Sustainable Practices in Construction Hoarding

In the fast-evolving construction industry, the emphasis on sustainability has never been more crucial. As awareness and regulations surrounding environmental impact intensify, companies are seeking innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint. One significant, yet often overlooked, aspect is the use of construction hoarding. Typically used as temporary fencing around construction sites, hoarding not only secures the site but also offers potential for sustainability in its materials and practices.