Measuring Embodied Carbon

Published by Green Building News: An increasing number of architects and builders are shifting their attention from “operational carbon,” meaning the greenhouse gas emissions connected with heating and cooling buildings, to “embodied carbon,” the emissions that can be attributed to manufacturing and transporting building materials such as concrete, steel, wood, and plastics.

Neither the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the country’s biggest trade group for residential builders, nor the International Code Council (ICC), which develops model building codes in the U.S., seems interested in a low-carbon campaign now. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association has been equally disinterested. For the moment, that leaves any effort to promote lower levels of carbon in building materials largely to groups like the New Buildings Institute, the Energy & Environmental Building Alliance, the Carbon Leadership Forum (which published a report on reducing embodied carbon last year), the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, and to individual builders and designers.

Read More