Rapidly increasing urbanization leads to a growing need for buildings in cities. Climate change increases the frequency of natural desasters with the consequence of destruction of millions of homes leading to a growing need for emergency shelter. But building construction already accounts for up to 38% of all CO2 emissions. This makes the building sector one of the largest consumers of energy. Buildings are one of the heaviest consumers of natural resources and account for a significant portion of the greenhouse gas emissions that affect climate change. Buildings use 40% of raw materials globally (3 billion tons annually). (Unknown 2014)
In order to reduce this amount, it is necessary that production processes become more efficient and less labor intensive. Many used materials such as steel and concrete have a slow production process. And during construction a lot of the materials go to waste. Therefore we need to find a way to use less raw materials. The biobased economy aims make the transition from raw materials towards an economy, which uses biomass as a resource. In a biobased economy biomass is used for non-food applications such as chemicals, materials, fuel, electricity and warmth. Biomass can function as a replacement for traditional materials and fuels used for these applications in which carbon is indispensable. (Unknown 2014)
To reduce environmental impact of the building industry it is of importance to make material selection based on the function of the design with the least impact on the environment which maximize the possibility of reuse and recycling after demolition.(Bijleveld, Bergsma et al. 2014) Taking this into account bio based materials could substitute a large amount of materials used today. It has become possible to substitute any building material with a biobased alternative or it can be developed upon request. (Runneboom 2013) The embedded energy of a biobased material is not necessarily less but the carbon footprint is better. (Spanjer and Wijk 2014) By reusing materials in continuous, closed loops, we could significantly reduce the environmental burden of consumer wastes.(Geiser 2001)
Bijleveld, M., et al. (2014). Meten is weten in de Nederlandse bouw. Mileu-impacts van Nederlandse bouw- en sloopactiviteiten in 2010. Delf, CE Delft.
Geiser, K. (2001). Materials Matter: towards a sustainable materials policy. U.S.A., Massachussets Institute of Technology Press.
Runneboom, T. (2013). The Green Village, TU Delft.
Spanjer, W. and P. A. v. Wijk (2014). Sustainable buildings Transformational Innovations. Delft, The Green Village, TU Delft.
Unknown (2014). Retrieved 20 November 2014, from http://www.biobasedeconomy.nl/wat-is-biobased-economy/over-bbe/.
Unknown (2014). "Green Building Facts." Retrieved 26 October 2014.