News Analysis

Embodied Carbon Tools: Assessing the Options

Interest in embodied carbon is growing. Here’s a guide to the tools that can help you measure and reduce these emissions on projects.

Awareness and concern about embodied carbon—the upfront greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with producing building materials and constructing a project—has skyrocketed recently. Building professionals and owners alike want to assess and reduce the embodied carbon footprint of their projects in order to cut their near-term emissions (see “The Urgency of Embodied Carbon and What You Can Do about It”). And there are external incentives to do so.

Some owners have made public carbon commitments. Others are interested in earning LEED points through the Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction and Environmental Product Declarations credits, which address embodied carbon in addition to other impacts. And those pursuing the Living Building Challenge or the International Living Future Institute’s Zero Carbon standard are required to measure embodied carbon and then pay for a one-time offset of the total.

Published September 9, 2019