MAKAR Carbon Measurement Project

In July 2014 MAKAR Ltd completed four homes at the Old School, Blairninich, Fodderty near Strathpeffer for the Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust. The homes consisted of two semi-detached blocks of 3 bedroomed homes. Built using MAKAR’s off-site manufactured low impact sustainable n-SIP closed panels system; two of the homes were designed to meet the Scottish Government’s Building Standards ‘Silver Active’ level of award. The homes were also designed to achieve high environmental standards with a healthy indoor environment using locally procured sustainable materials and services.

In order to benchmark the environmental impact of the development a lifecycle assessment was implemented. Working with researchers at the University of East Anglia, with funding from the TSB Innovation Voucher Scheme, a study of the carbon footprint of the development was undertaken to allow a comparison with other conventional housing construction methods.

The results of the research project are summarised below:

  • The MAKAR homes at Fodderty were found to have a total embodied carbon of 26.5tCO2e per home. This was lower than comparable studies which suggest that the embodied carbon of a new home to be approximately 35 – 50 tCO2e.
  • The MAKAR development at Fodderty was found to have an embodied carbon of 309kgCO2em2.
  • 89% of embodied carbon associated with the Fodderty development construction was derived from the materials used.
  • The predominance of natural materials including timber and cellulose insulation resulted in an estimated 39 tonnes CO2 sequestered within a Fodderty home.
  • Transport related emissions formed 6% of total embodied carbon. This was higher than that typically found in other studies (3%) and likely to be a factor of i) the relatively remote UK location of MAKAR’s facility and ii) the sourcing of appropriate materials outside the UK.
  • MAKAR homes at Fodderty were found to have a significantly lower embodied carbon in comparison with i) 27% lower than a comparable MMC timber frame alternative and ii) 39% lower than a Masonry Passivhaus.
  • Extending the study to full lifecycle, including post occupancy energy, refurbishment and end of life would allow for a full understanding of the lifetime impacts, leading to a cyclical understanding of the impacts of design through the lifetime of the homes to their eventual deconstruction and reuse.

To read the full report, click here.

For more information about MAKAR, visit makar.co.uk.