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6. Embodied energy of home
Home floor space per person of up to 33 m2
Meeting this target would, on average in the UK, emit 0.3 tCO2e per capita per year.
Measure relevant floor space
Including a target for home floor space is a way of accounting for the carbon emissions of house building and home maintenance, including the installation of energy conservation measures as discussed under target 4. The Hot or Cool Institute (HoCI) estimates that emissions in the UK are on average about 9 kgCO2e/sq.m/year, with the current average floor space being 39 sq.m/person (HoCI, 2021: 48-51). The HoCI data indicates that other industrialised nations have similar carbon emissions per unit floor space, even though the amount of floor space can vary considerably.
To calculate home floor space per person, divide the area of your home by the number of people who live there. As the lifestyle carbon footprint covers only personal behaviour, you can exclude the area of rooms used mainly as home office space which would allow an employer to reduce the size of its premises.
Options for reducing your home’s floor space per person include taking a lodger or downsizing next time you move. Options for reducing the carbon footprint of home maintenance include minimising refurbishment of, especially, kitchens and bathrooms. Indeed, we suggest a minimum lifetime of 15 years for installed kitchen/ bathroom units – in line with equivalent suggestions for carpets and furniture under target 7 below – unless, of course, essential maintenance is needed.
The following academics, scientists and engineers working in climate change have committed to target 6 - embodied energy of home.
The following members of the public have committed to target 6 - embodied energy of home.