The Beyond Zero unit promotes promising CO2-reduced and CO2-negative innovations in the building sector and shows whether and how buildings can act as carbon sinks. The unit uses innovative building materials developed at Empa, such as concrete or insulation material, which can bind carbon. The project also analyzes the global feasibility of such technologies and shows how the transformation of the construction industry could be achieved. Beyond Zero is currently in the planning phase.
In Switzerland, the construction sector is responsible for around 28 percent of CO2 emissions. Therefore, the sector plays a major role when it comes to the ambitious goal of emitting no more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by 2050. The Beyond Zero unit goes one step further and pursues the vision that buildings can serve as carbon sinks in the future – meaning that they will have a negative carbon footprint overall. The construction and operation of the unit is intended to provide insights into the role that buildings can play in achieving the net zero goal and beyond in the future.
The following CO2-negative innovations from Empa's labs are being promoted and used in the unit:
- Magnesium-based cement
- Magnesium-based clay bricks
- Insulating materials made from biochar
- Concrete enriched with biochar
- Low-clinker concrete
Magnesium-based clay bricks
Insulating materials made from biochar
Concrete enriched with biochar