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Zero Arctic: Concepts for carbon neutral Arctic construction based on tradition


The Zero Arctic project will develop regional concepts for Arctic building construction that would be carbon neutral over their full life cycle. The aim is to utilise both scientific life cycle assessment and energy simulation methods as well as to learn from and apply traditional knowledge of sustainable construction. Key tasks include:

  • Establish a network of relevant stakeholders in Arctic countries
  • Benchmark the life cycle energy performance and greenhouse gas emissions of Arctic construction
  • Analyse the traditional Arctic solutions to sustainable and energy-efficient construction
  • Recognise locally-adoptable, cost-optimal and user-centered service and design innovations for reaching carbon neutrality
  • Develop concepts for regional carbon neutral villages and buildings
  • Arrange stakeholder and expert workshops for key tasks of the project
  • Disseminate the findings through local seminars, reports and media
  • Enable the capacity for continuous development of Arctic carbon neutral construction.

Reaching carbon neutrality requires balanced optimisation of energy efficiency of buildings and their systems, generation of renewable energy, consideration of embodied impacts of building materials and anticipatory service life planning. The project will study how various applications of traditional knowledge in Arctic construction have supported the environmental sustainability of buildings and how these principles can be applied in the development of modern construction technologies. Furthermore, the potential for compensating anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions through natural and man-made carbon sinks in the context of Arctic construction will be explored.

Endorsed SDWG project proposal available HERE.

Project details
Completion date
Finland, Canada
Hokkaido University, Japan