One page descriptions of a technique or action for a given designer, planner, engineer or project manager to take.
Sustainable Engineering Process
The construction industry requires a tremendous amount of material for projects, such as concrete, steel, timber, water, and minerals. It takes a significant outlay of energy to extract and transport raw materials, transform the materials into a useful product, and then transport that product to a job site, or supplier. While these activities are necessary for human development, they also tax natural systems at all levels - local, regional, and global. This extraction of resources and consumption of energy releases pollutants into the environment.
All these emissions are considered to be embodied in the final processed material. To put it simply, embodied energy is the total energy consumed during resource extraction, transportation, manufacturing, and fabrication of a product. Typically embodied energy is confined within the boundaries of Cradle-to-Gate (factory gate) or Cradle-to-Site (site of use) to separate it from operational impacts.
Embodied carbon is the greenhouse gas equivalence of that embodied energy. Embodied carbon of an item also takes into account the operational energy.
Carbon carbon carbon. Why are people so anxious about it? Because it is the greenhouse gas we understand, and can begin to address, and because nearly every activity, nearly every environmental impact, can be given a carbon equivalent. We have the most research into it, and it represents the best opportunity to monetize environmental impacts and start achieving market transformation.
Design can address carbon in a number of ways through the choice of and use of materials and through on-site activities.
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