The Carbon Issue, the January 2020 edition of the American Institute of Architect’s Architect Magazine, is dedicated to decarbonization strategies for materials, design, practice, and policy. The issue features and highlights the work architects are doing toward reducing their projects’ operational energy and minimizing or eliminating embodied carbon.

The article entitled “Renovation, Restoration, and Adaptive Reuse: The Understated Value of Existing Buildings” explores the notion that “to reach zero-net carbon, architects have to improve performance in existing buildings, and make the most of the embodied carbon we’ve already spent on them.” In Katie Gerfen’s article, Quinn Evans’ principal emeritus Carl Elefante, FAIA, and senior associate Richard JP Renaud, AIA discuss how and why renovation and adaptive use strategies are critical to reducing embodied carbon and achieving necessary benchmarks.  

If you start with scenarios like renovating existing buildings, then you are instantly saving carbon. – Carl Elefante, FAIA
A photo of a 12-story modern era building.