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.

OVERVIEW

We rarely think about our building products beyond their immediate impact on a building or its indoor air quality. But we should.

How much energy does it take to make a product? What are the raw materials? How much does the product contribute to global warming?

These questions are not addressed by most green product programs, but the resources found here look at products and materials throughout their life cycles, including through:

  • life-cycle assessments

  • environmental product declarations

  • carbon accounting

  • embodied energy

With additional knowledge, you will have a more nuanced view of why products are environmentally sustainable and how they can be improved in the future.

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  • Carbon Offsets Get Oversight
    March 31, 2008

    News Analysis

    Carbon offsets have become a popular way to fight climate change, but the market for them has been plagued by doubts about integrity. A new certification program as well attention from federal regulators may help to address key concerns.

  • Binders in Manufactured Wood Products: Beyond Formaldehyde
    September 28, 2007

    Primer

    Concerned about emissions regulations, the manufactured wood products industry is moving away from glues formulated with urea formaldehyde and phenol formaldehyde.

  • BEES 4.0 LCA Software Continues Evolution
    June 7, 2007

    News Brief

    Life-cycle assessment tool BEES 4.0 offers a larger data set and other improvements over previous versions.

  • Report Guides Carbon Offset Customers
    January 2, 2007

    News Analysis

    A new report helps buyers evaluate providers of carbon offsets, which help individuals and buildings reduce their carbon footprints.