As countries begin to embrace low carbon economies, customers are increasingly asking for sourcing documentation on the products they are considering for their building projects. For construction projects that are striving for low carbon building status, there is no room for products that do not conform to LEED Canada-NC: Regional Materials 5.1 and 5.2.
Greenhouse gas emissions associated with building construction mainly come from the manufacturing of materials (e.g. concrete), transportation of materials, and transportation and treatment of demolition waste. The construction of a typical building is, on average, responsible for 500 kg CO2e/m2 worth of emissions.To achieve low carbon building status, a project must prove a reduction of this number by 80%. A key strategy adopted by low carbon building projects to reduce greenhouse gases during construction is to select material suppliers as close as possible from the construction site and suppliers whose raw materials are sourced locally.
Some stats for you to consider: a tanker carrying raw materials from overseas uses 35 tonnes of Bunker C oil per day and typically takes 11 days to make a crossing from China to Canada’s West Coast. A tug boat and barge uses 25 gallons per hour of diesel fuel. A railcar uses 125 gallons per hour of diesel fuel. A truck uses four gallons per hr of diesel. If you do the math, locally sourced and locally produced wins every time.