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New White Paper Addressing Embodied Carbon

  • 1.  New White Paper Addressing Embodied Carbon

    Posted 05-25-2020 12:57 PM

    The Carbon Working Group (CWG) of the Structural Engineering Institute's Sustainability Committee is pleased to announce the publication of its new white paper, Achieving Net Zero Embodied Carbon in Structural Materials by 2050.

    Cover Snapshot

    Avoiding the most disastrous effects of climate change requires reducing CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050. Building construction accounts for over 10% of CO2 emissions, and most construction-related emissions are from structural materials, such as concrete, steel, and timber. But how is it possible to build without CO2 emissions?

    The white paper authors examine in detail four transition tracks that will make this goal possible:

    1. Design improvements implemented by engineers and architects.
    2. Greening the electrical grid.
    3. Improving material production.
    4. Carbon offsets.

    These tracks may be combined in various proportions to reach net zero emissions.

    We encourage structural engineers, architects, contractors, and others who wonder how the construction industry can meet necessary carbon emission reduction targets to read this paper.

    It is available for free download at the SEI Sustainability Committee's website:


    Mark Webster P.E., M.ASCE
    Senior Consulting Engineer
    Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc
    Waltham MA