Buildings

Architects Climate Action Network Calls for Regulation of Embodied Carbon

The majority of a building’s carbon emissions happen before it’s even opened.

By Lloyd Alter, Updated February 05, 2021

Frontispiece

The clever frontispiece (shown to the left) of the report “The Climate Footprint of Construction” says it all: above the line is the finished building, while below the line are the power plants, freighters, transport trucks, cranes, factories, and mines that make all the stuff that goes into a building. All of those industries and processes emit carbon dioxide and equivalent gases, and added together are known as embodied carbon. It’s unseen and has been mostly ignored, but according to the report’s authors, the Architects Climate Action Network (ACAN), can total more than 75% of a building’s lifetime carbon emissions.

Builders for Climate Action 

Watch this 6 minute explainer

What is up-front embodied carbon and what impact does it have on climate change? What’s the carbon footprint of the materials for your next building project?

Low Rise Buildings as a Climate Change Solution View the white paper as a slideshow, download the pdf – here


How to Build Affordable Social Housing to Passive House Standard

McQuesten Lofts
Invizij Architect demonstrate how to keep it simple in Hamilton, Ontario

By Lloyd Alter Published January 11, 2021 

Designing to the Passive House standard of energy efficiency and airtightness is hard. Designing social housing on a tight budget to the Passive House standard is incredibly hard. That’s why the work of Emma Cubitt and Invizij Architects is so interesting and important. 

The 10 design commandments for cutting your building’s embodied carbon

“When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built it all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So, I built a second one. And that one sank into the swamp. So, I built a third. That burned down, fell over, and then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, son, the strongest castle in all of England.”

King of Swamp Castle, Monthy Python’s Holy Grail

This guide will show architects and other building designers how to effectively reduce the embodied carbon of a construction project. Avoid building castles on a swamp and follow these design commandments to achieve substantial and cost-effective emissions reductions, and learn how to achieve low carbon design in your projects.

Carbon Capture And Storage In Building Materials

MY NAME IS CHRIS MAGWOOD. ​I’M OBSESSED WITH MAKING BETTER  BUILDINGS FOR PEOPLE AND THE PLANET. ZERO NET ENERGY, ZERO CARBON, ZERO TOXIN, ZERO WASTE BUILDINGS.
Buildings can play a key role in reversing climate change. We can do this now.

Build Back Greener: Live with Mike – Sept 24, 2020 – on you tube

Melinda Zytaruk, CAM member and community power expert, chats with Mike Schreiner about how we can Build Back Greener and create new opportunities for women in trades.

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute,

The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute is a membership-based non-profit research collaborative bringing life cycle assessment (LCA) to the construction sector.

Douro-Dummer The Sustainable Development Program

 Reducing emissions of one house is equivalent to taking up to 13.5 cars off the road each year.

40% Permit fee reduction for new houses that meet a low carbon footprint
80% Permit fee reduction for new houses that meet a low carbon footprint and
near net zero energy consumption

British Architects Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency

For everyone working in the construction industry, meeting the needs of our society without breaching the earth’s ecological boundaries will demand a paradigm shift in our behaviour. Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.

By Lloyd Alter – treehugger – Updated October 24, 2019