Carbon Footprint Statement 2022
Otterlo is committed to act to reduce its environmental impact both as a business, and through the design, procurement and construction of our buildings. This Carbon Footprint Statement is core to Otterlo’s philosophy and business objectives.
We are all on a journey towards net zero. There is no one size fits all solution and as such each business decision and each project strategy strives to maximise carbon reductions. We acknowledge that not every solution will be perfect straight away but recognise the value of treating each project as a test bed for ideas and innovation - drawing what we can to help Otterlo as a business, our partners and collaborators accelerate towards net zero.
Otterlo have signed up to the Race to Zero challenge via the SME Climate Hub, aiming to halve its business operation's GHG emissions per capita by 2030 compared to its 2019 baseline, offset annually the remaining emissions through efficient measures, achieve net zero emissions before 2050, and disclose progress on a yearly basis
Using 2021 UK Government GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting Otterlo’s carbon footprint during April 2021/March 2022 is estimated at approx. 0.91 tonnes CO2e/person and 0.75 tonnes CO2e/person accounting for energy consumption reliant on renewable sources. A 60% improvement on Otterlo's 2019 baseline.
Otterlo uses 100% renewable electricity from solar (11%), wind (88%) and hydro (1%). And 3% of gas consumed comes from renewable sources like purpose grown crops (79%), food and farm waste (18%) and residues from vegetable peelings and cereal straw (4%).
Gas consumption is the business's single largest carbon emission contributor right now. Whilst we figure out reducing this reliance - all gas used 21/22 not from renewable sources has been offset by schemes verified by the Verified Carbon Standard and the UNFCCC's Clean Development Mechanism as measures sustained over time and are in addition to what would've happened without them.
(40 x 52)
‘Here in the UK, 49% of annual carbon emissions are attributable to buildings (see Figure 1.1). Over the next 40 years, the world is expected to build 230 billion square metres of new construction – adding the equivalent of Paris to the planet every single week – so we must act now to meet the challenge of building net zero developments.'
UN Global Status Report 2017
Of course the biggest impact Otterlo can have is reducing the carbon footprint generated by our new buildings. Not just from operational energy demand from the buildings but from cradle to cradle - the embodied carbon.
A combination of passive design, mechanically ventilated and naturally cooled near air tight and insulated spaces means the energy demands of Otterlo's buildings are substantially lower than the UK's existing housing and commercial building stock. And comfortably ahead of best practice for new buildings.
Our buildings are fully electric. In place of gas boilers we are specifying high efficiency communal air source heat pumps which run at a low temperature with localised trickle charge heat boosts close to heat demand. This technology will receive some renewable energy from onsite photovoltaics and over time will capitalise on the escalation of the decarbonisation of the national Grid.
As the National Grid decarbonises, it is projected that operational energy related emissions - comprising today 46% of a building's Whole Life Carbon emissions - will reduce to 22% in 2050. Otterlo have therefore been getting beneath the skin of embodied carbon. The 'cradle to grave' carbon, generated by demolition, construction, and one-day, disassembly & reuse/recycle is where we need to get a grip on the big carbon contributors.
Otterlo has implemented embodied carbon data monitoring on current schemes to better understand embodied carbon emissions through the whole building life cycle. This is helping to have a greater knowledge of construction supply chains towards making more impactful decisions. The big wins lie in within decision making in the early stages with magnitude of effect diminishing over time.
Building life cycle from EN 15978:2011 - adapted by Otterlo 2022
We are adopting a methodology and dataset for embodied and whole life carbon analysis in accordance with RICS Professional Statement WLC, reporting embodied carbon across the chosen life cycle stages of EN 15978.
The transparency, monitoring and interrogation of decisions is becoming an engrained part of how Otterlo operates. Selectively appointing and briefing project teams with experience and skill base of applying embodied carbon data monitoring with tangible and meaningful gains from the outset of each project.
Upfront embodied carbon results from product and construction stages: A1 to A5 of EN 15978
Whilst Otterlo is confident that our efforts to date place are placing our buildings, by some margin within the GLA's benchmark for embodied carbon - its the interrogation which is educating and focusing our attention on where the next big wins can be tackled.
Otterlo's buildings have been, and continue to be heavily reliant on reinforced concrete. Although cement is only 14% of a typical concrete mix, and steel reinforcement 4%, these materials contribute more than 90% of the embodied carbon of concrete. In response we are targeting using upwards of 60% Portland Cement replacement and using steel that is very nearly all recycled. This goes part of the way. Minimising slab depths, tighter structural grids, and longevity & adaptability of the building as a whole will maximise the utility of the embodied carbon associated with concrete.
Otterlo is shifting its approach around the design and delivery of our buildings. With an ambition to understand in greater depth the entire supply chain. In particular the limitations and opportunities relating to the superstructure - the frame and the facade. These components contribute 56% of the upfront embodied carbon and 37% of the whole life carbon.
We are currently investigating a hybrid use of CLT and steel for the frame including replacing use of concrete for the lift and stair cores - in conjunction with factory made panel facade systems and factory made modular bathrooms.
Watch this space...