Resource Library:

CLF Publications

For over a decade, the Carbon Leadership Forum has been releasing publications to advance scientific analysis, quantification, and methodology necessary to understand the carbon impact of design, materials, and construction, and to enable collective action to reduce embodied carbon throughout the industry.

Carbon-Storing Materials

Summary Report | February 2021The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): “Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C will require removing carbon from the atmosphere in addition to reducing...

2021 Material Baselines

Baseline Report | January 2021In order to set achievable targets, it is necessary to have a baseline from which to compare products within a material or product category. In January, the Carbon...

Motivating Low-Carbon Construction

Proposing a road map for action/impact This paper by Kate Simonen, published in 2011, was the first comprehensive strategy proposed for the radical reduction of embodied carbon in built...

Embodied Carbon Benchmark Study

Research Question: What are the typical magnitudes and ranges of embodied carbon in buildings? About The Embodied Carbon Benchmark Study is the first stage of the LCA for Low Carbon...

Buy Clean

Buy Clean Washington Study

Research Purpose:   Review and evaluate embodied carbon policies to limit the embodied carbon of structural materials used in State building projects. About On January 8, 2018, members of the...

The Time Value of Carbon

CLF board member Larry Strain developed this white paper for the Carbon Leadership Forum in order to articulate the critical need to reduce embodied carbon quickly and identifying the need for a...

Model LCA Specifications

About Model specifications can be used to request embodied carbon data for structural materials. The purpose of the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) specifications is to establish recommended product...

Project reports

To see all of the project reports from CLF research projects, please go to the Research Projects page.


Journal publications

  • Waldman, B., Huang, M., & Simonen, K. (2020). Embodied carbon in construction materials: a framework for quantifying data quality in EPDsBuildings and Cities1(1), 625–636. DOI:
  • Rodriguez, B.X., Huang, M., Lee, H.W., Simonen, K., Ditto, J. Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Tenant Improvements Over the Building Lifetime: Estimating Material Quantities and Embodied Carbon for Climate Change Mitigation. Energy and Buildings.
  • Pierobon, F., Huang, M., Simonen, K., Ganguly, I.  Environmental benefits of using hybrid CLT structure in midrise non-residential construction: An LCA based comparative case study in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.  Journal of Building Engineering.
  • Huang, M., Simonen, K. (2019).  Comparative environmental analysis of seismic damage in buildings.  Journal of Structural Engineering.
  • Rodriguez, B. X., Simonen, K., Huang, M., & De Wolf, C. (2019). A taxonomy for whole building life cycle assessment (WBLCA)Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 8(3), 190-205.
  • Simonen, Huang, Aicher, & Morris. (2018). Embodied carbon as a proxy for the environmental impact of earthquake damage repairEnergy & Buildings, 164, 131-139.
  • Simonen, K., Rodriguez, B., & De Wolf, C. (2017). Benchmarking the Embodied Carbon of BuildingsTechnology|Architecture Design, 1(2), 208-218.
  • Cooper, J., Fava, J., Simonen, K., Boyd, S., Baer, S. (2012) Status of North American Life Cycle Inventory Data.  Journal of Industrial Ecology, 16(3), 287-289.

Conference proceedings

  • Rodriguez, B.X., Amany, L., Simonen, K. (2019) “Embodied and Operational Carbon of Typical Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Systems in Office Buildings in Washington State: A study of buildings registered under LEED v3 2009,” Sustainable Built Environment Conference, August 6-7,  Tokyo, Japan.
  • Rodriguez, B.X., Simonen, K., Lee, H.W., Huang, M. (2018) “Embodied Carbon in MEP Systems: A Simplified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Method for MEP systems in Standard Commercial Office Buildings of the Pacific Northwest,” 3rd International Graduate Student Symposium of the PhD Program IIT College of Architecture, Chicago, IL, November 16-18, 2018.
  • Ianchenko, A., Wang, Y., Simonen, K., Wang, N. (2018)  “Residential Building Lifespan and Community Resilience,” 4th Residential Building Design and Construction Conference, February 28 – March 1, 2018, State College, PA.
  • Masoomi, H., van de Lindt, J., Peek, L., Tobin-Gurley, J., Simonen, K.  (2017) “Predicting Tornado Damage and Recovery Through Coarse Modeling of Physical-Socio-Economic Interactions at the Community Level,” Architectural Engineering Institute (AEI) Conference 2017, April 11-13, Oklahoma City, OK.
  • Simonen, K. (2015) “Testing Whole Building LCA: Research and Practice”, 2015 AIA/ACSA Intersections Conference, Atlanta, GA, May 13, 2015.
  • Simonen, K., Almufti, Il, Merrifield, S., Strobel, K., Tipler, J. (2015) “Integrating Environmental Impacts as Another Measure of Earthquake Performance for Tall Buildings in High Seismic Zones”, 2015 Structures Congress, April 23-25, Portland, OR.
  • Simonen, K. (2014) “Life Cycle Assessment Challenges and Structural Materials,” in Sustainable Structures Symposium, April 17-18, Portland, OR.
  • Court, A., Simonen, K, Webster, M., Trusty, W & Morris, P. (2012), “Linking Next-Generation Performance-Based Seismic Design Criteria to Environmental Performance,” 2012 Structures Congress, March 29-31, Chicago, IL.
  • Simonen, K., & Haselbach, L. (2012), “Environmental Product Declarations for Building Materials and Products: U.S. Policy and Market Drivers,” International Symposium on Life Cycle Assessment and Construction, July 10-12, Nantes, France.
  • Court, A., Simonen, K., Webster, M., Trusty, W., Morris, P. (2012) “Linking Next-Generation Performance-Based Seismic Design Criteria to Environmental Performance,” ASCE SEI 2012 Structures Congress, March 29-31, Chicago, IL.
  • Simonen, K., Moore, E., Cooper, J. & Sianchuk, R. (2011), “Teaching Building Life Cycle Assessment: LCA in Architecture & Engineering Education,” Building Technology Educators Society Conference, August 4-7, Toronto, ON.



  • Seismic Performance Assessment of Buildings-Methodology for Assessing Environmental Impacts” (2012) A. Court, P. Morris, K. Simonen, W. Trusty, M. Webster & J. Heintz. Report prepared in consultation by the Applied Technology Council for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Accessible at
  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Buildings Research for Washington State” K. Simonen, L. Haselbach, E. Oniel, J. Cooper. Delivered to State on September 1, 2012.