Carbon footprint of NZ office buildings up to 2050 – latest research published

Researchers at BRANZ and Massey University have published their latest findings on the carbon footprint of NZ office buildings 2018-2050, accounting for projected future construction and changes in the electricity mix up to 2050. 

They found that the carbon footprint of the New Zealand office building sector for 2018–2050 (8566 ktCO2eq) exceeded the carbon budget (2140 ktCO2eq) by a factor of 4.0. The new build stock contributed approximately 55 % of the total office building sector carbon footprint. Operational energy use accounted for 86 % and 36 % of the existing and new build stock carbon footprints, respectively. Raw material supply, construction and manufacture contribute 53 % of the new build stock carbon footprint. For an individual new build office over a 60-year service life, the carbon footprint (1259 tCO2eq) exceeded the carbon budget (236 tCO2eq) by a factor of 5.3. 

The abstract for the article, “Absolute sustainability of New Zealand office buildings in the context of climate targets”, can be read here. The full article can be read by paid subscription to Elsevier.

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