Buildings and Beyond - Steven Winter Associates, Inc.

Buildings and Beyond - Steven Winter Associates, Inc.

Mission Critical: Embodied Carbon in Sustainable Design with Kai Starn and Catherine Paplin

February 04, 2020

For the past 30 years or more, when we’ve been talking about the carbon emissions of buildings, we’ve usually been talking about operational emissions – the carbon put in the atmosphere after the building is built.  We now know that 30-50% of a building’s total carbon emissions are already in the atmosphere before the lights are even turned on.  These emissions are referred to as embodied carbon.  There is an enormous, industry-wide effort underway to incorporate accounting for embodied carbon in construction, because the realization has dawned that you can’t build ‘green’ without it.
On this episode, Robb sits down with SWA’s Kai Starn, Senior Sustainability Consultant, and Catherine Paplin, Senior Building Enclosure Consultant to hear about WHY embodied carbon is becoming a larger part of the conversation.

Episode Guests: Kai Starn & Catherine Paplin

Embodied Carbon Information and Resources
Carbon Leadership Forum and Embodied Carbon Network
2019 RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide
National Ready Mixed Concrete Association page on Sustainability
Embodied Carbon: The Blindspot of the Buildings Industry
‘The Greenest Building’ Report
SWA Blog Posts on Embodied Carbon
Buildings to Cool the Climate written by Kai Starn
Choosing Insulation for Carbon Value – Why More is Not Always Better Part 1 written by Catherine Paplin
Choosing Insulation for Carbon Value – Why More is Not Always Better Part 2 written by Catherine Paplin
Embodied Carbon Apps & Tools:

* Athena: Oldest embodied carbon counting program, good for initial concept/schematic design
* EC3 : Embodied Carbon Calculator just issued November 2019 with focus on materials
* Beacon: Thornton Tomasetti tool just issued January 2020

For purchase:

* Tally: integrated with Revit
* LCA One-Click

Upcoming Events
The BuildingEnergy Boston Conference + Trade Show is an event designed by and for practitioners in the fields of high-performance building and design, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Hosted by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA), this year’s event is Monday & Tuesday,