The Science of Sustainable Building

With 40 percent of global carbon emissions coming from buildings, it’s clear that building technology adoption should be the first priority in helping China achieve its ambitious climate goals.
Jane Palmieri,
Business president, Dow Building & Construction

The Situation

Buildings are the biggest single source of carbon emissions, accounting for about 40 percent of the world’s carbon footprint.

The Solution

Improving energy efficiency is critical to achieving carbon intensity targets.

Real-World Answers

In fast-growing countries such as China, public-private partnerships are enlisting market leaders to share expertise, time and solutions to develop capabilities, helping achieve ambitious climate goals.

As China accounts for approximately 50 percent of all new construction in the world, Dow is working alongside governments and U.S. and Chinese companies to ensure that sustainability is considered during the design phase of building development.

To improve energy efficiency, the country has set new construction and climate goals. However, in cities across China, practices around building codes, technologies and market awareness of total-cost-ownership must change to achieve sustainable development.

Dow participated in a public-private partnership convened by the Paulson Institute (PI) to advance green technology development in China. One of the most important learnings from this collaboration project was identifying the main barrier to wider adoption of green solutions in China: affordability. To address this, the Chinese government and PI jointly announced their intent to launch the U.S.-China Building Energy Efficiency Fund, a bilateral initiative led by PI with support from Chinese and U.S. companies, including Dow.

In 2016, Dow signed letters of intent for collaborative projects in the cities of Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, and Zhangjiakou, Hebei. These projects are part of the drive toward green building development, using energy-efficiency solutions and capabilities from Dow.

Take a look at how energy-efficient products are being used:

Joints and cavities: FROTH-PAK™ Foam Sealant is a two-component, quick-cure polyurethane foam used to fill cavities, penetrations, cracks and expansion joints.

Seams between insulation boards: LIQUIDARMOR™ CM Flashing and Sealant is a patented, liquid-applied barrier against water and air to effectively seal seams between insulation boards and building fenestrations, improving the energy efficiency of buildings by ~30 percent.

Walls: STYROFOAM™ Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Insulation is able to insulate while meeting core thermal, moisture, air and vapor performance requirements due to its durability and longevity, saving over 30 times the energy embodied in it.

Concrete: WALOCEL™ is a best-in-class cellulose ether additive designed for cement-based applications and extrusion of fiber cement.

Parking decks/green roofs: VERDISEAL™ is a waterproofing system consisting of a primer, elastomeric membrane and robust wear-coat, used for applications like green roofs, exposed or covered parking decks, and inverted roofs.

Interior/exterior walls: Spray polyurethane foam insulation is widely used for thermal insulation on both interior and exterior walls and roofs of all kinds of buildings, providing thermal insulation, compressive strength and moisture resistance.

Industrial buildings: Rigid-faced insulation boards are widely used for wall insulation on cold storage and industrial buildings, providing excellent thermal insulation, compressive strength and moisture resistance.

Tour a virtual city to see how Dow Performance Silicones is using a variety of technologies to advance sustainable construction.