Research

Embodied Carbon: A Primer for Buildings in Canada

Embodied carbon in the built environment

This white paper by the Canadian Green Building Council (CAGBC) focuses on buildings and low-carbon materials including wood and mass timber. It provides information and context to better understand embodied carbon and address it in new and existing buildings.

Demonstrating reductions in embodied carbon

As operational carbon decreases with building efficiencies and the use of low-carbon electricity, such as hydro here in BC, the need to focus on the embodied carbon of a building becomes more important.

Embodied carbon refers to the carbon emissions associated with materials and construction processes throughout a building’s life cycle. These emissions are released into the atmosphere before a building is operational.

Canada’s building sector is currently transitioning from the basic quantification and reporting of embodied carbon to a stage where reductions must be demonstrated. Increasingly, design teams are performing life cycle assessments (LCAs) to quantify and reduce embodied carbon as early as possible in the design process. Manufacturers are also developing environmental product declarations (EPDs) to allow for like-to-like comparisons of products.

 

Embodied Carbon: A Primer for Buildings in Canada

The white paper provides the building sector with information and context to better understand embodied carbon and address it in new and existing buildings.

Embodied Carbon of Buildings and Infrastructure

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Light-frame construction beams and roof trusses shown being installed on low-rise residential structure by construction worker with nail gun and fall arrest harness
Making embodied carbon mainstream

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Mass timber constriction, post & beam, CLT (cross-laminated timber) & prefabrication are prominently featured in this nighttime exterior view of the Penticton Lakeside Resort West Wing mid rise
The Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings

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Emobdies Carbon PathFinder
Embodied Carbon PathFinder

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