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Hidden Climate Costs for BC’s Fast-Growing Skyscrapers, Part II

Opinion: According to one study, the neighborhood of high-rise towers will generate 142% more carbon emissions than low-rise areas like Paris with the same population.

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Politicians claim to reduce the daily pollutants caused by glass and steel skyscrapers, but that’s not the end of climate concerns.

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Studies show that skyscrapers have higher “embodied” costs. This refers to the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by skyscrapers over their lifetime. It starts with the construction process.

Often ignored in environmental assessments. However, taking into account the huge concrete foundations of skyscrapers, it contributes to the surge in global warming.

“‘Embedded’ carbon emissions have been described as a’blind spot’in the building industry,” says Vancouver sustainability expert Paul Morris. “We need to consider the embodied emissions from extraction, transportation, manufacturing and construction. Concrete is the worst material for embodied emissions.”

In a groundbreaking study, Francesco Pomponi of the University of Edinburgh Nepia created a unique environmental model that supports the construction of cities where more people live closer, but most are buildings below the 10th floor. ..

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Given the carbon-intensive materials needed to build a high-rise building, Pomponi’s team concludes that the neighborhood of a high-rise tower produces 142% more carbon emissions than a low-rise area like Paris of the same population. I attached it.

The neighborhood of a high-rise tower produces 142% more carbon emissions than a low-rise area (pictured here) like Paris of the same population.
The neighborhood of a high-rise tower produces 142% more carbon emissions than a low-rise area (pictured here) like Paris of the same population. Photo by JACQUES DE MARTHON / /AFP / Getty Images

“Our findings show that high-density, low-rise cities such as Paris are more environmentally friendly than high-density, high-rise cities such as New York,” said 2021 on NPJ Urban Sustainability. Pomponi, the lead author of the study, said.

In other words, Pomponi found that over the 60-year life expectancy of a building, dense low-rise apartments produce 365 tons less carbon dioxide per person than skyscraper alternatives. ..

One of the reasons is that “building tall things requires heavier structures and thicker foundations.”

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Pomponi recognizes that a high-rise building can accommodate more people than a low-rise building with the same footprint, but “two high-rise buildings cannot be placed as close as two low-rise buildings … many things such as privacy. For reasons, ventilation and sunlight, skyscrapers need to be further apart. “

More skyscrapers may be needed to accommodate the population capacity of skyscrapers, but skyscrapers are better than skyscrapers, even though additional land may be needed. Also reduces carbon emissions. He intends to further study how the high-rise and low-rise discussions relate to transport emissions.

Meanwhile, Pomponi’s work is reflected in the work of 650 buildings led by Austrian engineering professor Martin Rock and Marcellasade of the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec. They found that so-called “energy-efficient” residential buildings emit up to 50 percent more greenhouse gases in their lifetime. Many are due to “carbon spikes” from construction. The author wrote in 2019 that “the production and use of buildings will require major changes.”

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Burnaby Mayor Mike Harley and Vancouver City Green Building Manager Sean Pander acknowledged the seriousness of “embodied” greenhouse gas emissions from the construction of concrete steel and glass towers.

“But there is a wide range of variations, from the best to the worst,” said Harley, along with each council to further reduce such emissions, such as through the use of “more environmentally friendly concrete mixtures.” Pander said, emphasizing how he promised recently.

On May 17, Pander said the Vancouver Council voted to have developers reduce their embodied emissions. “The recommended requirements will come into effect by 2025, and Vancouver will be on the road to achieving a 40% reduction by 2030,” he said.

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Gareth Sirotnik laments that Vancouver councilors no longer expect developers to make significant contributions to community life, cityscapes and green spaces.
Gareth Sirotnik laments that Vancouver councilors no longer expect developers to make significant contributions to community life, cityscapes and green spaces. Photo by Francis Georgian / /PNG

On her side, Councilor Colleen Hardwick said that while other councilors often talk about “green concrete,” her understanding “reduces emissions by only about 15 percent.”

According to Hardwick, studies showing strong emissions from skyscrapers are highly reliable. “I’m wondering why Congress has shown primarily concrete high-rise solutions to our housing and affordable needs.”

There is another concern. It is the third way to assess the environmental impact of skyscrapers, focusing on the impact on communities and ecosystems.

“Overcrowding of greens.” “Density without amenities.” These are the people who resist environmental ethicist Wendy Sarxian’s campaign by former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan to use skyscrapers to create eco-density. It was two of the terms used in her study to explain the discussion.

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Sullivan was often blamed for the “greenwashing” crusade of developers seeking more profitable skyscrapers.

Sarkissian’s concerns are reflected in a recent book by Kheir Al Kodmany at the University of Chicago. In the chapter entitled Unsustainable Tall Building Developments, a professor of urban design joins in a tower critical of planning masters like Jane Jacobs and Jan Gehl.

Low-rise districts “emphasize the value of human scale and provide a wealth of opportunities for healthy social interaction,” Kodomany wrote. “Therefore, in any urban area, no matter how crowded, the height of the building can be kept below the 4th floor.”

Kodmany also discovered that when tall buildings are packed together, “the urban heat island effect … dark surfaces that absorb heat from the sun, lack of greenery, waste heat and vehicles lead to high temperatures.”

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Next is the wind tunnel. “High-rise buildings adversely affect microclimate due to wind funnels and turbulence around their bases, causing pedestrian discomfort.”

Birds are also suffering. “Bird-glass collisions are an unfortunate side effect of the development of skyscrapers around the world,” says Kodmany. Billions of birds die each year in a collision with a glass tower.

Distribution rendering of Broadway plans from Vancouver City.
Distribution rendering of Broadway plans from Vancouver City. jpg

Alex Boston, a Sustainability Specialist at SFU, is one of those who wants to see more of the green space included in the Broadway program so that people can connect to the heat island and fight. is.

Gareth Shirotonic, who lives one block from the first new skyscraper approved for the Broadway Corridor, no longer expects developers to make significant contributions to community life, cityscapes and green spaces.

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“I live on the 14th floor of an 18-story condo on the top of a newly purchased Burrard-Granville Slopes 30 years ago. My building development to exceed the 12-story guideline limit by 6 floors. Has transferred nearly 30% of the property as a permanent public park we maintain, “says Sirotnik.

“The era of such amenities is over. The city has just approved a 39-story building one block away, with few public facilities other than grocery stores.”

In the face of strong environmental problems, some who insist on the need for high-rise buildings, those who seek density in shorter buildings, all cities are repeatedly blocked by six-story apartments in central Paris. Some people disagree that they want to change to the version of.

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However, Pomponi states that cities do not have to be monotonously low-rise. “Each building must be very fixed, at a defined height, and not the same as the next building. It really must not exceed it unless there is a really good reason. Is to have a threshold of. “

dtodd@postmedia.com


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Hidden Climate Costs for BC’s Fast-Growing Skyscrapers, Part II

Source link Hidden Climate Costs for BC’s Fast-Growing Skyscrapers, Part II

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