Embodied carbon call to action

Following a fantastic CarbonPositive ’20 conference, I wanted to share an article of mine that was recently published by ArchitectureBoston. I hope it may be useful for communicating at a high level the urgency and importance of addressing embodied carbon in the built environment. And thanks to the ECN members whose work I reference in the article for generating the critical data we are all in need of!

Stay safe, everyone!


Hi @lori.ferriss, just want to confirm that there is no hierarchy between “using better” and “using less”? The first and second seem to suggest that you would preference using better before using less but that might be mis-reading it?

Hi @madams - no hierarchy is intended by the order! I think this is absolutely a both/and situation.

I am primarily a renovation/preservation professional in my day job, so I personally bias towards reusing as much of what we already have as possible as a primary strategy. But that needs to be paired with putting back the right materials where we are adding any.

I also understand that in order to accommodate urbanization and population growth, we will need to add square footage. To do this responsibly, we will need to use both strategies I describe. Carbon storing materials are an example of where we should perhaps use more!

Hi Lori, I thought that was the case! Yes, reading your article I did wonder whether a time will come when we will need to prioritise these materials that store carbon more so. Thanks for your article and thoughts!