Low Carbon Homes

Masonry can be used to deliver the lowest carbon homes. For example the PassivHaus standard which concentrates purely on energy performance (and hence operations CO2 emissions) has many examples of masonry buildings ( PassivHaus applies to domestic and non-domestic buildings). 

The NHBC Foundation did a comparison of the embodied carbon of masonry and timber homes and found the difference to be less than 5 per cent. This supports research by ARUP which concluded the same with respect to embodied carbon but also looked at operational carbon. It found that the small additional embodied carbon of a masonry home compared with a timber home was offset in only 11 years. Therefore over a lifetime of 10 times this – 110 years  - the carbon savings during operation are ten times more significant than the small additional carbon at build stage.