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Reducing Embodied Carbon in Building Construction

Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center, 405 SE Spokane Street, Pullman, WA

About the event

Greenhouse gases emitted by the manufacturing of building materials makes up 11% of global emissions. While the building industry has made significant progress toward eliminating carbon from building operations, material emissions have been flying under the climate radar. The urgency of reducing global carbon emissions in the next decade puts building materials on center stage – these emissions have an impact on our environment before materials even arrive to the jobsite. AEC professionals play a critical role in reducing the embodied carbon of buildings by measuring their impact in early design, specifying low carbon products, and advocating for increased material data transparency. As building owners and developers take on more progressive climate goals, architecture firms like Miller Hull have developed subject matter expertise in sustainability topics that help deliver high performance, low carbon buildings. This lecture will introduce the basics of embodied carbon, review what a typical analysis workflow looks like, and provide real world case studies for projects at multiple scales.

This lecture is delivered by Brie McCarthy from the Miller Hull Partnership. Brie is a designer and sustainability researcher at Miller Hull in Seattle, WA. She graduated with an M.Arch from Cal Poly Pomona and received the AIA COTE Top Ten for Students award for her graduate thesis in 2018. Her work at Miller Hull has spanned from large overseas government projects to private residential in the Pacific Northwest. Since joining the firm, Brie has helped lead sustainability research efforts on embodied carbon and climate smart forestry, and is a planning committee member for the Carbon Leadership Forum in Seattle. She is passionate about bringing awareness to the urgency of construction impacts on climate change and is constantly looking for new ways to deliver actionable carbon data to project teams.