What is nitrogen and what are the consequences for construction?
Without delving too much into the chemical matter: nitrogen is a main component of the air we breathe every day. About 78% of the air around us consists of nitrogen. Nitrogen can attach to other atoms, such as oxygen and hydrogen. These are also called reactive compounds, for example nitrogen oxides and ammonia. These forms of nitrogen cause the current environmental problems.
In the construction process (via diesel engines) mainly the nitrogen oxides are emitted. Ammonia can be released in the construction chain, for example in the production of certain building materials. The amount of reactive nitrogen on Earth has doubled in the past century. The Dutch Green Building Council (DGBC) wants to accelerate the sustainability of the built environment and thereby create a healthy living environment. According to DGBC, reducing nitrogen emissions from construction activities, new buildings and area developments is part of the necessary transition to solutions and incentives for a lower environmental impact of the construction sector. It contributes to a cleaner construction site and a more pleasant environment for the people who will live or work there.
On 13 November, the government announced new measures to ensure ‘a major step in solving the complex nitrogen problem’. The buildings themselves are not necessarily a problem, especially now that new homes no longer have a gas boiler. But during the construction process, nitrogen is released. Think of the driving off and on of heavy construction machines such as shovels, generators, cranes and trucks, which run on fossil fuels. During these transport movements, nitrogen oxides are released, which descend into nature. Where the electric car is now indispensable on the road, the development of large electric construction machines is not yet on the schedule.
Veerhouse buildingsystem will work on nitrogen reduction in its processes in the future. For this, for example, it is necessary that we use fewer machines with diesel engines and that people who live near each other carpool (for less emissions from the cars). The veerhouse also builds sustainably, partly because there are fewer emissions when producing the materials used.