“It is not about what you are doing it is about what you are stopping”, said Neil Thompson, Director at Atkins, member of SNS Lavalin Group, design engineering and project management consultancy.
British meteorologists warn that although 2018 broke all records in greenhouse gas emissions, 2019 will see even more carbon dioxide take up long-term residence in the atmosphere. The overall release of carbon dioxide from power stations, factory chimneys, cement quarries, car exhausts, and so on will continue to rise. Despite higher investment in renewable sources such as wind and solar energy, fossil fuel combustion is still contributing to high carbon emissions. Decarbonising or reducing carbon footprint is now acknowledged as one of the biggest challenges throughout the world. The use of natural resources must also be monitored and changed to a sustainable approach to maintain and improve environmental conditions.
Green buildings have become an important part of a sustainable development plan in many countries. LEED, abbreviation for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Development, is a specialised rating system which promotes sustainable development in the construction industry by certificating green buildings.
Available for virtually all building project types, from new construction to interior fit-outs, operation and maintenance, LEED provides a framework that project teams can apply to improve the building energy performance, reduce impact on climate change, protect and restore water resources, biodiversity, promote sustainable and regenerative material resources, and create healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. Mauritius aims to increase renewable energy to at least 35% of its total energy by 2025. Nearly, 85% of the island’s energy requirements are met by fossil fuels, accounting for around 20% of its imports.
Prodesign firmly advocates sustainability and has introduced LEED certification in Mauritius which strictly abides with the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), a publicly available document which includes Life Cycle Assessment for each product. Prodesign is proud to have won the first LEED Gold Certificate in Mauritius in 2016 for the Airport of Mauritius headquarters. Our Sustainability Engineers and Green Building Consultants were responsible for the overall MEP systems design.
Prodesign’s MEP Consultants consider energy efficiency, both to deliver carbon savings and to increase the feasibility of low carbon supply options. The London Energy Transformation Initiative aims to support the construction of zero carbon buildings by 2030. Likewise, Prodesign, is creating a roadmap for integrating LEED in Mauritius projects to achieve a net zero in operation. Prodesign encourages clients to seek external recognition for the quality of the green initiatives used in their building projects and accompanies them in the design of such projects, renovation phases, and Smart Cities. Our Green Building Project Managers are currently working on other LEED projects in Mauritius as well as towards the BREEAM Communities project.
A fluctuation in carbon factors between high and low demand periods are a challenge to develop low carbon, low-cost heating, and hot water systems. In the coming years, our Sustainability Engineers and Green Building Project Managers need to develop a definition in operating at net zero with defined measurable targets. Minimising carbon emission is a never-ending debate but as put in the words of Dr Hywel Davies, Technical Director at CIBSE “ we need a move towards regulation of real carbon emissions in use, with incentives for those willing to lead the way”.