Mass timber construction has the potential to dramatically reduce building embodied carbon emissions. Advancing the following recommendations will ensure we get mass timber right:
Source wood locally
Source wood from climate-smart forests
Replace carbon and energy intensive building products with carbon sequestering biomass-based products
Increase carbon stocks in the forests and wood products
Keep working forests working
Bring non-forest land under forest cover
Produce wood products with longer working life
Mark Wishnie, Francesca Pierobon, and Jennifer Cover outlined design strategies to maximize mass timber’s emissions reduction potential. Robert Jackson, Thomas Knittel, and Robin Schiller explored material procurement, project delivery, construction, lessons learned and building typology considerations. Their presentation slides can be downloaded here and here.
We have all the tools we need!
We have all the tools and resources needed to to plan, design, and construct the built environment to stay within a 1.5 degree Celsius carbon budget. Beginning with the ZERO Code, 2030 Palette, and Carbon Smart Materials Palette, a few of the many resources available today include:
Planning and Building Design:
UrbanFootprint – software to streamline urban planning and mobility decisions with actionable data for all U.S. locations.
CoveTool – a plugin for Revit, Rhino and Sketch-up that allows designers to develop accurate daylight, energy, water, and cost simulations.
Tally – an LCA app and plugin for Revit, that enables designers to calculate the environmental impacts of their building material selections.
EC3 – a free online tool that allows benchmarking, assessment and reductions in the embodied carbon emissions of construction materials.
OneClickLCA – integrated with Revit and other tools that allows designers to reduce the cost, embodied carbon emissions, and material use in their projects.
EDGE – a free, easy-to-use, online residential and commercial building design tool and certification program for operational and embodied energy reductions in 160 countries.
CarbonCLARITY – a suite of applications to reduce the embodied carbon of new construction projects and accelerate the rate of low carbon concrete innovation.
Transparency Catalog – a free, online database of all HPDs and EPDs in North America.
Beacon – an open-source Revit plug-in and embodied carbon feedback tool designed specifically for Structural Engineers.
Concrete Calculator – a calculator that can rapidly analyze the life cycle assessments (LCAs) or proposed concrete mixes compared to regional practices and estimates.
Three new materials added
Three new material swatches have been included in the Carbon Smart Materials Palette: gypsum board and carpet – both of which are carbon-intensive interior materials – and bamboo, which is used globally in construction (including for scaffolding, roofing, and partition walls) and various engineered finish and structural products.
Learn more by visiting the Carbon Smart Materials Palette today.
So, as we face these challenging times, let’s remember to focus on working together to create a bright future.
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