At the heart of embodied carbon in buildings is the carbon intensity of materials. Although some traditional and emerging materials can offer significant embodied carbon reductions compared to business-as-usual and conventional solutions, intentionally selecting and optimizing materials for the express purpose of reducing embodied carbon is rarely a project driver.
While the awareness of operational carbon is growing and is curbed through increasingly strict energy codes, owners or project teams rarely focus on embodied carbon. For a large building and infrastructure projects, the opportunity to reduce embodied carbon can be huge and a once in a lifetime opportunity that requires research, advance planning and a deliberate procurement strategy.
The Materials Taskforce seeks to daylight these opportunities, understand the challenges and provide information to project decision makers in order to significantly reduce the impact of embodied carbon in building materials.
- Measure the business-as-usual embodied carbon intensity of common building materials to establish a baseline from which optimization will be measured
- Identify the jurisdictional, financial, manufacturing, constructability and schedule challenges for wide-scale implementation of low embodied carbon materials
- Identify and support research needed to address these barriers
- Understand owner’s/project team’s awareness and current demand for low embodied carbon materials
- Provide owners and project teams a tool kit for identifying, specifying and procuring low embodied carbon materials.
Taskforce Chair: Dave Walsh, Sellen Construction