Where We Can Help
  • Whole Building Lifecycle Assessment
  • Embodied Carbon Assessment

Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront

As the world’s population approaches 10 billion, the global building stock is expected to double in size. Without drastic changes to the way our sector operates, this growth will consume vast amounts. of natural resources, contributing to an expected doubling of the total global consumption of raw materials by around the middle of the century, significantly increasing the sector’s emissions and climate impact.

Carbon emissions are released not only during operational life but also during the manufacturing, transportation, construction and end of life phases of all built assets – buildings and infrastructure. These emissions, commonly referred to as embodied carbon, have largely been overlooked historically but contribute around 11% of all global carbon emissions.

Embodied carbon emissions are associated with energy consumption (embodied energy) and chemical processes during the extraction, manufacture, transportation, assembly, replacement and deconstruction of construction materials or products.

They can be quantified across the whole lifecycle using lifecycle assessment (LCA). LCA is “a systematic set of procedures for compiling and examining the inputs and outputs of materials and energy, and the associated environmental impacts directly attributable to the functioning of a building throughout its life cycle” (ISO 14040: 2006).

An LCA helps the architect understand, at design stage, the lifetime consequences of their design decisions. It allows design team to understand the trade-offs of material selection and energy performance and find an appropriate balance between the two thereby promoting durability, resource efficiency, reuse, and future adaptability.

Our team of LCA experts can conduct a cradle-to-grave lifecycle assessment (LCA) of the project’s structure and enclosure to meet LEED v4/v4.1, Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction, Option 4 – Whole Building Lifecycle Assessment. It addresses the following environmental impact categories which are mappings from quantities of emissions:

  • Global warming potential (greenhouse gases), in CO2e
  • Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, in kg CFC-11
  • Acidification of land and water sources, in moles H+ or kg SO2
  • Eutrophication, in kg nitrogen or kg phosphate
  • Formation of tropospheric ozone, in kg NOx or kg ethene
  • Depletion of non-renewable energy resources, in MJ

    LCA gives a broad understanding of the cumulative energy use and other environmental consequences resulting from all phases of the building’s life.
Do you want to reduce your embodied carbon?