Soda and Carbon: Click here for Reference
Coffee and Carbon: Click here for Reference
Beer and Carbon: Click here for Reference
The Ultimate Water Bottle: Click here for Information
What is Embedded Carbon?
In short – it’s all the carbon created, and if not sequestered or offset, added to the atmosphere by the existence of an object or even a service. Also known as “embedded” carbon.
A guide toward environmental LCC: Click here for EVERYTHING you’d ever need to know.
“Net Zero” and Carbon – Are Like - Apples and Oranges
Net Zero as commonly used seems to refer to buildings and their energy use ONLY. Meaning, it uses, or offsets it’s use of energy for it’s day to day operations.
What about everything that isn’t a building or other structure / earthwork, etc? What about IPods, plates, CARS????
That is where Carbon Calculations come into their own. Carbon is a perfect proxy for fossil fuel energy use. Carbon allows you to account for differing energy sources carbon production, from coal to natural gas to nuclear. Carbon allows enables you to also account for the environmental impact in creating photovoltaic’s, wind and tidal generators. Finally, Carbon allows you to account for the environmental impact in creating not just buildings, but EVERYTHING we use, consume and do!
When considering a Building’s Carbon Impact, there is the carbon created to produce energy for day to day operation or use, the “Embedded” Carbon in the material and equipment that make up the building, including the growing / mining, manufacturing, all transportation, the fuel for the equipment during construction and hauling waste material away.
Operating energy represents a majority of a building’s “embedded” carbon. In the past, it represented the bulk of the embedded carbon, as buildings were not insulated, shaded, or designed to minimize energy use, and consumed much more energy in their operation. Modern buildings are heavily insulated with glazing and MEP sized to minimize operating energy required, increasing the proportion of embedded carbon represented by the building. This makes material selection more important, and I’ll give you a hint, the only building material that has NO embedded carbon are those in an existing building.
The ULTIMATE NET ZERO Building is an existing one that Zeros out it’s operating energy needs, and has been re-used with minimal, demolition or addition of new materials.