Carbon Leadership Forum

November 21, 2019

Thornton Tomasetti Shares Results of Comprehensive Embodied Carbon Measurement Study

Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, has released results from its multi-year, project-based embodied carbon measurement study, identifying the type of structures, materials and components with the highest carbon emissions. The findings provide insight into how structural engineers can drive innovation in design while reducing embodied carbon and creating structures that are more efficient.

The study comes on the heels of the Carbon Leadership Forum’s launch of the Structural Engineers 2050 Challenge, an initiative designed to incite progress toward Zero Carbon buildings by 2050. The initiative challenges structural engineers to measure embodied carbon, set benchmarks and meet increasingly higher reduction targets.

“Structural engineers have the opportunity to be leaders in sustainable design because structural materials are the largest contributors to embodied carbon in new construction. Our seven-year study of more than 600 structures using a tool developed in-house to measure embodied carbon is helping us understand the impact design and material choices have on the environment,” said Amy Seif Hattan, corporate responsibility officer at Thornton Tomasetti. “We are sharing the first results of our ongoing study in the hope that it will serve to educate our peers and encourage them to contribute data so we can expand our research and support the development of more sustainable and better performing structures.”

Thornton Tomasetti’s embodied carbon measurement tool, Beacon, is expected be released to the industry and public for free by the end of the year. Created for use in the Revit environment, the new tool is customized for structural engineers for embodied carbon optimization, allowing users to measure how they are doing while they are in the midst of working on a project.

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