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Carbon neutral buildings – music of the future or necessity?

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Patrícia Jaššová

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The threat of climate catastrophe hangs over us like the sword of Damocles. It is this fact that forces experts, world leaders and ordinary people to look for other, more ecological solutions that could prevent this disaster. Carbon neutrality is also one of the frequently used terms.

What is carbon neutrality?

The term carbon neutrality (from the English “net zero carbon”) represents the achievement of a balance between carbon emissions and their absorption from the atmosphere.

Both climate change scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say that removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is essential as climate hazards may continue to grow.

In order to keep warming below 2 °C, it is necessary to achieve carbon neutrality in developed countries by 2050. This goal is also set by the Paris Agreement.

Reducing the carbon footprint in all sectors

By the end of this decade, renewable sources, especially solar, should account for at least half of the world’s total electricity production. Deep decarbonization must occur in all sectors and the digital infrastructure should be 100 times more energy efficient.

Green Development 2030

China’s biggest tech giant Huawei believes the technology will help other sectors reduce their carbon footprint. The company released a report called Green Development 2030, which focuses on how digitization and decarbonization can stimulate ecological development and points to the use of green solutions in key industries.

The report maps out a vision of the future, predicting, among other things, that by the end of this decade, all new buildings worldwide will operate with net zero carbon emissions. At the same time, it is expected that all, including older buildings, could be carbon neutral by 2050.

Achieving carbon neutrality therefore sets a clear direction for both new and existing buildings.

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Carbon neutral buildings

A carbon-neutral building can be defined as a highly energy-efficient building that produces or procures enough carbon-free renewable energy to cover its annual energy consumption.

When designing a solution for a carbon-neutral building, you should focus on, for example, the following options:

  • reducing energy consumption
  • elimination of fossil fuels
  • use of renewable resources
  • reducing waste during construction and using the circular economy principle
  • optimal use of natural daylight
  • full or partial natural ventilation during a certain part of the year, supplemented by mechanical systems to ensure heat recovery in winter and cooling in summer, if necessary


Although carbon neutrality may sound like the music of the distant future, the opposite is true. It is more and more important that this principle starts to be applied also when dealing with buildings.


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