Resource Library:

CLF Booklist

Our short list of recommended books key to understanding and reducing embodied carbon in built environments. 

Life Cycle Assessment

by Kathrina Simonen

Life Cycle Assessment addresses the dynamic and dialectic of building and ecology, presenting the key theories and techniques surrounding the use of life cycle assessment data and methods.

Architects and construction professionals must assume greater responsibility in helping building owners to understand the implications of making material, manufacturing, and assemblage decisions and therefore design to accommodate more ecological building. Life Cycle Assessment is a guide for architects, engineers, and builders, presenting the principles and art of performing life cycle impact assessments of materials and whole buildings, including the need to define meaningful goals and objectives and critically evaluate analysis assumptions.

The book includes both fundamentals and advanced topics. The book is primarily focused on arming the design and construction professional with the tools necessary to make design decisions regarding life cycle, reuse, and sustainability. As such, the book is a practical text on the concepts and applications of life cycle techniques and environmental impact evaluation in architecture and is presented in language and depth appropriate for building industry professionals.

The New Carbon Architecture, Building to Cool the Climate

by Bruce King

For the first time in history, we can build pretty much anything out of carbon that we coaxed from the air. We can structure any architectural style with wood, we can insulate with straw and mushrooms, we can make concrete – better concrete – with clay, microbes, smoke, and a careful look in the rear view mirror and the microscope.

All of these emerging technologies – and more – arrive in tandem with the growing understanding that the so-called embodied carbon of building materials matters a great deal more than anyone thought in the fight to halt and reverse climate change.

The built environment can switch from being a problem to a solution – much nicer places to occupy that just happen to pull carbon out of the air.

Targeting Zero: Embodied and Whole Life Carbon Explained

by Simon Sturgis, RIBA Publishing (2017)

Embodied and Whole Life Carbon will change the way buildings are designed, yet carbon emissions associated with the construction and life of buildings are not yet wholly understood by the profession. Energy is assumed to be the province of services engineers, yet energy from materials is as big an issue. Architects have the opportunity to take the lead in redefining how buildings are designed to achieve a low carbon future.

A Life Cycle Approach to Buildings: Principles – Calculations – Design Tools

Detail Green Books

Holger Konig, Niklaus Kohler, Johannes, Kriesig & Thomas Lutzkendorf, Redaktion DETAIL (2010) Munich.

A building’s entire life cycle from construction through occupation, cycles of renovation and repairs, up to demolition and disposal, impacts the flow of materials thereby created. The decisive path of a building’s environmental impact is however usually set early in the planning phase, at a time when planners often still lack knowledge about the sustainability characteristics of different building materials and constructions.

Sustainability Guidelines for the Structural Engineer

by By Dirk M. Kestner, P.E.; Jennifer Goupil, P.E.; and Emily Lorenz, P.E.

Sponsored by the Sustainability Committee of the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE.

This report presents guidelines that are intended to advance the understanding of sustainability in the structural community and to incorporate concepts of sustainability into structural engineering standards and practices. The guidelines are organized into five sections: Sustainable Design and Construction, Sustainable Strategies, Building Materials, Infrastructure, and Case Studies.

Although many of the subjects are related, each section—and the related subsections—have been written to stand alone, allowing this report to be used as a practical reference. Infrastructure gets particular attention because many of the concepts and ideas in this guide that relate to infrastructure can also be applied to design and construction.

This report was written for structural engineers, but related disciplines will also benefit from the contents. This book will help structural engineers as they meet the challenge to design and construct a sustainable built environment.

Embodied Carbon in Buildings, Measurement, Management and Mitigation

Editors: Pomponi, Francesco; DeWolf, Catherine; Moncaster, Alice.

  • Provides a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to embodied carbon calculation and reduction, with a particular focus on understanding uncertainty
  • Includes examples of approaches used by industry professionals, and specific routes to embodied carbon reduction
  • Identifies the methodologies, tools and standards in use around the world