New Zealand’s building materials are more susceptible to climate change than they are to the impacts of deforestation, new research has found.
The research shows that when building materials from the Koser building blocks, such as concrete, wood and steel, are mixed with a mixture of greenhouse gases, the greenhouse gases release more heat than if they were the same materials used for building materials made from recycled materials, such, for example, recycled bricks and boards.
The findings have implications for how people can adapt to climate changes and whether they can keep building their homes.
“If the buildings and buildings are going to be habitable, we need to look at how to minimize the greenhouse gas emissions that are released by building materials,” said researcher Dr. Jodie Lee.
“This research suggests that we need building materials that are more resilient to the effects of climate change.”
“We found that the greenhouse effect is higher for Koser bricks than for traditional brick materials, and that these properties are more prone to the greenhouse effects than traditional bricks,” Lee said.
The researchers analyzed soil and air samples from about 1,400 Koser brick buildings in the southern province of Auckland, which are about the size of a football field.
The scientists found that carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, was released by the Kipper bricks when they were mixed with methane, a byproduct of methane-burning gas.
They also found that when the greenhouse properties of Koser buildings were studied under a greenhouse-gas-emitting gas experiment, carbon dioxide levels rose.
The greenhouse-gases emitted by the bricks increased when methane was added to the mix.
“Methane is a by-product of the process of building materials burning, and the greenhouse emissions that result from building materials burn are higher than those from building material burning alone,” Lee told NBC News.
“We were able to measure the greenhouse-related greenhouse gas emission to determine the extent of the effect of adding methane to the Kose buildings.”
In their study, the researchers found that Koser walls and ceilings emitted more greenhouse gases than Kose bricks.
The Koser roofs also emitted more methane than KOSE bricks.
Lee said it is important to keep in mind that carbon emissions from the building materials themselves are not the only way greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
“In a building, the air quality is determined by the composition of the building material, the materials that we are using and how they are used,” Lee explained.
“And if we look at the air pollution that we emit from our homes, for instance, we actually emit more greenhouse gas than the amount of carbon dioxide that we produce by burning fossil fuels.”
Building materials made of recycled materials are not expected to be as climate resilient as traditional brick and board, said lead author Dr. Rebecca Regan.
The new research is published in the journal Science Advances.
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