En-en adult card 3 building
Card #3: Building usage
The building sector (housing and commercial use) uses fossil fuels and electricity. It accounts for 20% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
We consider here buildings' usage, not their construction (which is included in the card on Industry). This includes heating, air-conditioning, lighting, electronics, etc. The big topic in Europe and the US is the thermal insulation of buildings. As far as new construction is concerned, it is vital to build well-insulated buildings. However, the stakes are limited as the standards for new buildings are much higher than in the past and only a small proportion (1%) of buildings are constructed each year. The challenge is therefore much more in the thermal renovation of buildings.
- River flooding Soil artificialisation is also responsible for flooding because the soil is no longer able to absorb rain water.
- Aerosols Buildings emit few aerosols directly. The only significant emissions are chimney fires. In Chamonix, 85% of the fine particles present in the atmosphere come from wood heating .
- Deforestation It can be said that heating buildings with wood is in part responsible for deforestation, but it is not significant. Neither is building a major cause of deforestation. Agriculture is the main cause of deforestation, way in front of buildings and their usage.