Construction Emissions: A Virtual Roundtable Video, 61 minutes

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Practitioners interested in reducing the embodied carbon of buildings are likely now used to considering the impact of different materials, like mass timber or low-carbon concrete. Low-carbon construction, however, may be less familiar. 

Contractors are just beginning to track the emissions from their job sites, and many are finding much bigger impacts than have been presumed. BuildingGreen’s reporting cites estimates upwards of 20% of a project’s total embodied carbon.

In this one-hour panel discussion, we will tap the leading experts on estimating and tracking construction emissions and talk about best practices for reducing this slice of a project’s carbon footprint. This intermediate course is for people who know something about carbon emissions and life-cycle assessments but are ready to more deeply understand and challenge the default assumptions about construction emissions. We’ll discuss things like:

  • What construction processes are major drivers of emissions?
  • Why are there different estimates about the scope of construction jobsite emissions?
  • What are some primary strategies (for both designers and contractors) to reduce construction emissions?

A brief Q&A will follow the panel discussion.


Oliver has a background in waste-stream consulting and project management and holds a dual master’s degree in Sustainable Design and Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas–Austin. He plays a critical role in helping project teams by sharing best practices for waste diversion and promoting sustainable and low-carbon material selection. Oliver is passionate about reducing the amount of embodied carbon in the spaces Sellen builds for clients and is especially focused on tracking and reducing A4 (material transportation) and A5 (construction) emissions.

Joan is currently helping Lendlease meet its goal of achieving absolute zero carbon across every scope by 2040 while creating $250 million of social value by 2025. At Lendlease, Joan is collaborating across the company’s national portfolio to reduce jobsite emissions and is driving implementation of a variety of other sustainability initiatives to reduce the company’s environmental footprint.  Joan holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of California–Berkeley. She is committed to ongoing learning and collaboration to achieve ambitious sustainability goals and is passionate about creating social and environmental value through her work.

The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute is a nonprofit research group that advocates for environmental performance measurement and accountability in the built environment through life-cycle assessment. Jennifer has been working in building-industry sustainability for more than three decades, with diverse multidisciplinary roles in research, design, and education in Canada and the U.S. Her professional experience has an emphasis on energy efficiency, sustainable design, and overall building performance. Jennifer has also worked at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the California College of Art and Architecture, the PG&E Energy Center, several architectural and HVAC design firms, and FPInnovations.

Candace Pearson leads BuildingGreen’s consulting practice in the areas of alternative project delivery models, collaborative construction contracts, and owner representation. Candace believes that the best projects come from project teams aligned around values, and that such alignment can be reinforced by clear, artfully crafted contracts. She has a knack for facilitating kick-off meetings, and she has partnered with construction attorneys to translate learnings into contractual agreements. 

Abby is responsible for the Turner’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption on its project sites.  She joined the Boston office in 2005 and served in a variety of construction operations roles.  She holds a BS in civil engineering from the University of Vermont and a professional engineering license from the State of California, where she worked for six years prior to joining Turner.