by Anthony Hickling, Managing Director, Carbon Leadership Forum
We believe that deep decarbonization of the largest industry on the planet requires sharing, collaboration, common understanding, and long-term relationships centered around our common vision.
In this month’s newsletter you’ll find stories that demonstrate the scale of our opportunity to reduce embodied carbon from buildings and infrastructure. Behind each of those stories are leaders like you who have volunteered time, funded the work, and dedicated careers to building for a better future.
At the advent of Spring 2022, we want to celebrate bold, thoughtful, and committed leadership. You are accelerating the movement to create a future rooted in a vision of justice and a thriving human community. We invite you to read these stories and help us celebrate them.
Senior Project Manager, Energy Solutions
Embodied Carbon Analyst and App Developer at Builders for Climate Action
Executive Director of The Passive House Network (PHN)
Computational Community Leader, Buro Happold
Find out what our members are doing to address embodied carbon Learn More
Guidance on Implementing Low-Carbon Construction Material Policies and Limits on Public Projects
by Meghan Lewis, Senior Policy Researcher for the Carbon Leadership Forum
A growing number of government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels are integrating greenhouse gas reduction requirements into their procurement policies for construction materials. This report summarizes guidance for the government agencies responsible for implementing those procurement policies. Guidance was developed through interviews with individuals at government agencies with implementation experience and research on existing programs targeting embodied carbon reductions.
As of the 22nd of February, 27 signatory MEP firms have signed the Commitment, along with 19 additional organizations signalling their support, including architectural, construction, and structural engineering firms, and NGOs such as the AIA, Architecture 2030, and the Passive House Network. Join the MEP 2040 team with your peers and partners for this first quarterly 2-hour meeting with MEP signatory firms and supporting organizations. Sign up for one of the MEP 2040 Working Groups!
MEP 2040 signatories are publicly pledging their firms to decarbonizing MEP systems, and we commit ourselves and our firms to collective action, supported by transparent data, rigorous science, careful engineering, and thoughtful collaboration.
Agenda for March 18
- Parallels between Arch 2030, SE 2050, MEP 2040
- Introduction to Primary Focus Areas
- Requesting EPDs
- Creating a Company Plan
- Introduction to Working Groups
- Communication and Resources
- Data, Analysis and Reporting
- Manufacturers and EPDs
The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is an industry-funded commodity checkoff program established to promote the benefits and uses of softwood lumber products in outdoor, residential, and non-residential construction. SLB funds research and education as well as design and build technical consulting; codes and standards, and communications through its funded programs, WoodWorks, American Wood Council and Think Wood. The use of wood products in buildings can potentially provide an environmental benefit by storing carbon removed from the atmosphere.
Supporting the development of tools, transparency, and data to support the sustainable use of a premier biogenic material
by Kabira Ferrell, Vice-President for Communications for the Softwood Lumber Board
An estimated 80% of the embodied carbon attributable to building materials comes from structural products, making it vital to have accurate information when selecting structural building elements. Without decisive action, building materials used in new construction in cities across the globe will generate 100 gigatons of embodied carbon by 2050. The AEC community and the wood products sector have a shared goal – decarbonizing the built environment as expediently as we can.
January 22, 2022
"The Institution of Structural Engineers (UK) is delighted to announce that Honorary Fellowship Awards have been given to Neil Gibbins QFSM, Peter Wilkinson, Kate Simonen and Peter Oborn…
"Kate is Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture, University of Washington College of Built Environments, and the Executive Director of the Carbon Leadership Forum (CLF). She has been instrumental in shifting the dial on sustainability in the USA.
“Connecting significant professional experience in high performance building design and technical expertise in environmental life cycle assessment, Kate works to spur collective action to bring net embodied carbon to zero. She does this through cutting-edge research, cross-sector collaboration, and the incubation of new approaches. Kate directs the research of the Carbon Leadership Forum and convenes collaborative initiatives such as the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (the EC3 tool hosted by Building Transparency) and the Structural Engineers 2050 Challenge that was subsequently adopted by the SEI - Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the USA.”
Andrew Himes’ 2021 TEDxSeattle talk is an impassioned plea for buildings that help solve climate change instead of contributing to it. With a sense of hope, Andrew asserts that working together to solve the climate crisis gives us the opportunity to “regain a sense of our shared humanity.”
As Andrew explains, the materials used in construction, the movement of those materials, and the current massive building boom combine to make the buildings in which we live and work one of the leading causes of carbon emissions. The good news is that we already know how to create buildings that store carbon and help heal the planet. We can reuse and improve buildings instead of tearing down or using new materials, and we can all demand that the buildings in our community are built to protect us instead of harm us.