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Building Enclosure Council: Embodied Carbon and the Building Enclosure

  • COST

    Free for BSA members, $10 General admission. Learn more about membership options here.

  • TYPE





    1 LU credit available.

Reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with buildings and construction has never been more urgent. The architecture and design community has made great strides in reducing the operational carbon emissions of buildings, and there is now increased urgency around what we can do to reduce embodied carbon, the emissions associated with building materials and construction. Building upon the fundamentals of GHGs, LCA, and EPDs presented at in BEC's February meeting, this presentation will focus on embodied carbon specifically as it relates to the building enclosure. Through case studies and examples, you will learn about how Life Cycle Assessment can be performed throughout the design process to understand the relative embodied carbon impacts of enclosure systems and identify strategies for reduction. You'll also learn about what tools are available for LCA and how to find and understand Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for common enclosure materials.

Laura Karnath is a registered architect and a Senior Enclosure Technical Designer at Walter P Moore’s Los Angeles office. She is a leader in computational design and holds broad global experience in the organizational models and technical challenges involved in the delivery of large international projects. Having overseen the delivery of highly complex building envelopes on four continents, Laura applies her knowledge and experience to using data to address embodied carbon in the built environment. An impassioned advocate for computationally driven building data management and for high performance facades, she believes both to be central in the ultimate decarbonization of the built environment. She is a co-founder of the Los Angeles chapter of the Carbon Leadership Forum.