Note: you are viewing the archived version of our website. Click here to go to our new site.

Toward a Low Carbon–Dematerialization Society

Toward a Low Carbon–Dematerialization Society
Minjun Shi
Journal Article
Journal of Industrial Ecology, Volume 16, Issue 4, Pages 493–505

Rapid industrialization and urbanization has been occurring in China since the introduction of the opening‐up policy in 1978. The demands of building and infrastructure construction have increased rapidly, especially in the transportation and housing sectors in China. Large amounts of construction materials have been required in building construction and maintenance of the railway and road systems, especially steel and cement. Continued cement and steel production will require heavy raw material resource consumption and will emit a great deal of carbon dioxide (CO2). This study forecasts future steel and cement demand and related resource consumption and CO2 emissions for building and transportation infrastructure based on a material flow analysis of China. Furthermore, the effect of prolonging the lifetime of building and transportation infrastructure is appraised. The results indicate that building and transportation infrastructure will increase sharply through 2030. Although the demand for new construction will then decrease, steel and cement consumption will remain at a high level through 2050 because these are needed to maintain roads and railways. In addition, prolonging the lifetime of buildings and infrastructure is a useful way to avoid more raw material consumption and to mitigate CO2 emissions. However, its main effect is to decrease the demolition of buildings and reduce material use for the maintenance of roads and railways. Currently not enough countermeasures have been implemented to realize a low carbon–dematerialization society in the building and transportation construction sector. Future comprehensive efforts should include the reuse of waste construction material and a reduction in raw material consumption intensity by applying technical innovations.

More Information


Back Incorrect or incomplete information? Click here to report this.

This website provides meta data on papers and other publications, with links to the original publications. These papers may be copyrighted or otherwise protected by the publishing journal or author. Some journals provide open access to their publications. When possible we will try to include abstracts and more details for open access publications. For more details, follow the link to the original document and/or contact the publisher/author.