Queries & Theories: Embodied Carbon and Climate Action

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Queries & Theories: Embodied Carbon and Climate Action

For our third Queries & Theories webcast (hosted live on June 23, 2020), Carl Elefante, FAIA, FAPT moderates as Erin McDade, Associate AIA, Senior Program Director at Architecture 2030 & Julia Siple, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Director of Sustainability at Quinn Evans, explore the challenges of addressing “embodied” greenhouse gas emissions (GhG) from the manufacture of building materials and products, the construction process, and associated transportation.

The building sector is responsible for more global GhG emissions than industry, transportation, or agriculture. For operating buildings, this includes both burning fossil fuels on site, as well as consuming electricity generated with fossil fuels. But whether designing a new building or renewing an existing building, we must also account for embodied carbon emissions. Our discussion addresses questions such as:

Why has embodied carbon emerged as a crucial climate action topic? Is embodied carbon a significant factor, and how?

How should embodied carbon be addressed when planning a building project? How does it differ with new buildings and the renovation of existing buildings?

How does addressing embodied carbon make better buildings?

Watch our Queries & Theories: Session 3, Embodied Carbon and Climate Action webcast recording below.

View the transcript here.

Learn More About the Speakers

Erin McDade, Associate AIA, is the senior program director at Architecture 2030, where she leads public policy and embodied carbon initiatives. Her recent work includes the development of building-level, sector-wide decarbonization policy impact assessment models for eleven cities in the Zero Cities Project.

Julia Siple AIA, LEED AP BD+C, is a senior associate and director of sustainability at Quinn Evans. She formerly served as senior manager of the AIA’s Sustainable Knowledge and Practice area, where she directed the AIA 2030 Commitment program and the Design Data Exchange.

Carl Elefante, FAIA, FAPT, is principal emeritus at Quinn Evans. The former president of the AIA, he is a longtime champion of sustainable design and stewardship and a pioneer in design concepts for historic and environmental preservation.

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