Growing Awareness of Embodied Carbon

Fellow Structural Engineers & Embodied Carbon Champions:

Embodied Carbon is making the news more frequently in recent months. Here is an interesting example from The Guardian of how the subject is being addressed in the public eye. I honestly think this is a pretty decent representation. Have you had opportunities to write articles or speak in forums outside of our Structural Engineering community? I would urge you to consider what else you can be doing!
The dirty secret of so-called ‘fossil-fuel free’ buildings


GREEN EAST MASTER LTD power point (1) (1) (1).pdf (2.5 MB) Cimexpan Presentation Edited (1) (1).pdf (1.8 MB) We are a Mauritian company involved in the manufacturing of low carbon cement and concrete of high thermal value. It was a French technology developed in Mauritius.

There’s some progressive ideas in the article. I liked:

He is highly critical of glass-walled office towers, arguing that, while they may boast environmental credentials, they have a huge amount of built-in obsolescence, given that their glazing systems are often only guaranteed to last for 30 years. You would expect these towers to last at least a century,” he says, “but they have a big embodied cost when these deep, triple-glazed units will have to be replaced so often.”

The more we publish, the more it will get picked up by the mainstream. At best, I have spoken to students about this topic, but there is more to do.

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@heyslivers - I agree! Thank you for highlighting that. One truly would expect for these massive monuments to engineering and architecture there would be a much longer expected life of components than for an average building like a small retail strip center.

In general, this makes me think back to how my parents are still using a box fan they had in college; I’ve been through a few over the years because they just don’t last anymore. We should certainly have a much “longer view” for all structures and their components - and especially for the big ones!