- Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) predicted that Chennai would emit around 232 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2040.
- Construction activities and operations of the buildings in the city could lead to as much as 231.9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
- The buildings consume around 75% of energy to remain functional, the researchers found.
- A team from the Centre for Technologies for Low Carbon and Lean Construction at the institute and the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) conducted the study and have suggested utilising renewable sources of energy.
- Ashwin Mahalingam, a professor at the institute’s civil engineering department, said to achieve the emissons target, it was necessary to benchmark what ‘business as usual’ emissions were likely to be in future and work backwards from there.
- The researchers developed a futuristic map of the city in 2040, taking into account past trends and future constraints. The study showed an increase in urban built-up area and a decrease in the area of waterbodies and wetlands.
- It used life cycle analysis of construction activities and estimated the CO2 released during demolition, transportation and construction activities and operation of buildings.
- The team suggested replacing traditional cement with a low-carbon alternative, reusing demolition waste for future construction and switching to renewable resources to meet the energy requirements of buildings.
- By shifting to clean energy sources to supply 50% of the building’s energy needs, the cumulative CO2 emission can be reduced by up to 115 million tonnes between 2019 and by 2040, the researchers found.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB