Reducing Carbon Emissions From Our Buildings

The construction and operation of buildings is responsible for approximately 40% of anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) gases annually, a considerably substantial amount which few practitioners take into account in their design decisions. The building design and construction community has increased its awareness of the need to reduce buildings’ energy usage, but that does not completely equate to a reduction of CO2e gases.

This workshop presents a simple methodology to quantify CO2e from the construction of the structure and envelope of a building (“bloomage”), including a look at the effect of design decisions on this carbon footprint. The session will provide a simple method to calculate the CO2e emissions from one year of heating the building (“leakage), making reasonable assumptions about envelope performance.

Participants will learn the effect design changes can make to the total carbon footprint, including air barrier effectiveness and the amount of thermal bridging present through the insulated envelope, providing attendees with a quantitative sense of their buildings’ carbon footprint, and learn practical ways to reduce carbon emissions from both the construction and the operation of buildings.