Embodied Carbon

Researchers in a laboratory at Oregon State University study the properties of cross-laminated timber. CLTs are a way to reduce the embodied impacts of a structural system.

Photo: Oregon State University. License: CC BY-SA 2.0

“Embodied carbon” typically refers to the upfront greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing building materials.

Structural materials like steel and concrete tend to have the highest embodied carbon within a building, but all the other products, even down to interior finishes like drywall and carpet, come into play as well. To learn about the embodied carbon of a specific product, look to an environmental product declaration. A whole-building life-cycle assessment is necessary to understand the emissions associated with an entire project.

Embodied Carbon

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