Tekst: Anne-Lise Aakervik
Foto: infinitiv.no v/Erik Børseth
The construction industry is one of the climate evils. Today, it accounts for 40 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and 40 percent of energy consumption. In addition, it creates 40 percent of all waste on the earth. That requires strong lye.
Eirik Resch in the construction pit for the new SiT building which i.a. must house the health and social sciences at NTNU.
The construction industry is also Norway’s largest mainland industry. There is a lot to be gained from the fact that this industry is becoming more climate-friendly. Researcher Eirik Resch will lift some of these concerns off the planners’ shoulders with his web application, Reduzer.
The adjustments the industry must go through are demanding. It is not always obvious which choices they should go for and how they should design buildings and carry out the whole process to achieve climate-friendly results. This applies not least to the choice of materials, which account for 11 percent of global emissions. In addition, there are transport, installations, and waste management. There are many things to think about.
– I want to help make it time- and cost-saving for the construction industry to become more climate-friendly, by making these choices more automated and less manual than today. We still need the experts who will count on this, but the program will help them make it easier to make the best choices so that they can focus on the tasks they are experts at and have this as an aid.
Eirik Resch has studied both physics and industrial ecology, and his project reflects an environmental commitment. – I want to contribute to the industry that accounts for almost half of the greenhouse gas emissions in a way that makes them reduce these as quickly and efficiently as possible.
A brilliant starting point
The starting point for the project is his Ph.d. thesis. There he developed methods that make it possible to assess greenhouse gas emissions from building materials. The research findings now form the basis of the web application Reduzer, which calculates greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and infrastructure.
– If we are to achieve the goals in the Paris Agreement, which we have committed ourselves to, this is one of our most important focus areas, says Eirik. – My goal is to help those who work in the industry, architects, engineers, and developers, to achieve their climate goals in a far better way than today.
The software is complex to be able to consider several uncertainties because there are major and complex challenges we face.
All from the start
The program makes it possible to assess the environmental and climate impact already from the idea and sketch phase; here we are talking about floors, size, and choice of materials. This is where you have the best opportunities to influence the result. Reduzer will, for example, calculate where the highest emissions will be related to the choices they make.
– The program will provide advice on how these emissions can be avoided or made smaller by considering various alternatives in design, for example. Then the architects and engineers must come back in and look at this and make their professional assessments. The idea is to use the program throughout the construction phase to document the emissions both during and after the building is completed.
Eirik has received funding from Discovery to test the first version of Reduzer.
– Pre-project support from Discovery has given me a unique opportunity to take an idea into reality and turn my research into a product. In addition to the support from Discovery, I have received Qualifying Funds from the Research Council. The money comes in handy e.g., to bring in expert help in programming. I collaborate with NTNU TTO on all practical matters.
Eirik Resch has already established a collaboration with the industry, which confirms that there is a need for this, and it is the desired product.
Prosjekter og nyheter